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DELUX MAGAZINE NO. 44
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It’s officially spring time! Spring has a special way of giving you a fresh start. Not only a time of cleaning out those gutters in your home, or finally organizing your closet, but also a time for reflection of what has occurred and what is to come. The DELUX team has had a tremendous year thus far and continues to press forward -- giving our audience the content, recognition, and support they desire and deserve. I would also like to thank our DELUX family and extended family for their talents, time, and collaboration as we continue to thrive as the premier publication for African American Millennials in the St. Louis metro area. We value this community and hope to continue to bring value to it. I want to take this opportunity to get more intimate with our readers. As some of you may know, May is Lupus Awareness Month as well as Mental Health Awareness Month. Both have struck very close to home for me with myself being diagnosed with Lupus in 2009 and a close family member being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 2013. It was extremely important to me that we covered both in this edition. So many of us battle with so many things that we as a community don’t talk enough about. DELUX would like to be the catalyst to change that. We would like to be your publication of choice that illustrates the successes, fashion, music, events in our community but also those heart-to-heart discussions that provoke thought and action.
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This edition we have the beautiful Tishaura Jones on our cover-Treasurer of St. Louis City. Her office has done so much for the City of St. Louis and we are so proud to be able to recognize and celebrate her. We thank her for her tenacity, passion, and service to our community. In honor of Lupus and Mental Health Awareness Month, I leave you with this quote: “Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.” -- Thich Nhat Hanh
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The CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) Program prepares junior and high school students to become entrepreneurs who contribute to their community’s economic growth. It is much more than a textbook course. Rather students are immersed in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes. There are 28 CEO Programs in the United States, and Cardinal Ritter is the first urban program and the first one in Missouri. The CEO Program: • Selects students through a rigorous application process • Provides the opportunity for each student to start their own business • Meets for 90 minutes every day • Provides 2 high school credits • Emphasizes 21st century learning skills • Provides real-world, real-life experiences for students • Connects students with business professionals • Is funded by business investors • Provides a mentor from the business community for each CEO student To learn more, visit www.midlandinstitute.com
MARVEL-OUS Have you ever seen two best friends fist fight off and on for ten minutes, to the point of exhaustion? Where you speak up and say, ” Stop!! You’re gonna kill him!!”? Yes? Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but watch a beautifully shot version of it that you’re not personally involved in entitled “Captain America:Civil War”. Did you know this movie is called “First Avenger: Civil War” in some countries?!? Guess the A on Cap’s forehead stands for “Avenger” to some. Random… Anyway, this film is arguably the best out of the MCU, save “The Avengers” first film, itself. And yet in still, it even has that beat. The feeling you got when you saw the first Hero collaboration film is the same feeling you get from this, with even more action. It’s just so calculated, in a good way. They take characters we’ve grown with for a decade and put them in a moral conundrum. The Russo Brothers outdid themselves with the direction of this film. Leaps and bounds more psychologically thrilling than “Winter Soldier”. Oh, I forgot the splash page. You know, the big scene in every marvel team film that shows all the heroes fighting with every ounce of super power they can muster? The money shot of every super hero film? The big fight? Yeah, this one last for almost fifteen minutes. Never seen anything like it in my life. Genuinely had my jaw dropped. Things I thought I wouldn’t see happen for three more movies. Characters evolving in front of my eyes in ways I thought I wouldn’t see until I was old and gray. I mean the edits, the sound design, the coloring, the seamless CGI. For the first time I felt like I was flying with War Machine and Iron Man. Hell, Falcon too. Oh, and Spider-Man!!!!! Dear Lord, they finally found an actor that made me say, “Hey, SpiderMan is on-screen. Not some actor playing Peter Parker, but SpiderMan”(I didn’t say this aloud). I mean the wise cracks, the agility, the excitement of being among super beings. He did his job. As usual the villain left something to be desired, but maybe he didn’t. Maybe they finally realized Marvel films damn near don’t need a villain. Just a situation that they need to get under control. The internal power struggle is entertaining enough that you think of little but what the next step is in the plot. You didn’t want them to rush it, and you were grateful when they explained what you didn’t know. Oh. Ohhh!!! And Black Panther was astonishing. Just enough. Not too much origin or exposition explaining his purpose. Just a no nonsense unstoppable force that is noble as all get out. The setup for the next one is lovely. The approach from the former movie was flawless. Aside from a few plot holes I can’t explain without spoilers, the movie is almost perfect. It’s as perfect as it could have been. So glad the Russo Brothers are in charge of the next two “Avengers” films. Let’s me know I’m in store for comedic drama with visually unforgettable tendencies. Nice.
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Refreshing The Brand EMPOWERMENT STRATEGY
A brand is more than a logo. It is more than a tagline. It is more than a color scheme. A brand is the foundation. It is the core element of the company. It speaks to what the company is about, why it exists, and what it is aiming to accomplish. As the company grows and expands over time, the brand often changes (sometimes, minimally). However, rarely does a company actually update its external brand to match its internal change. This is where the disconnect lies. Every now and again brands have to undergo a refresh - reevaluate their current brand and determine if it still lives up to what it is now. Brands may evolve over the time, so the look, the feel, the sound must do the same. Once created a brand rarely stays what it was on day 1, but rather it morphs into something that is more complex or simplistic depending on the overall company. So, how does an organization refresh its brand? Create the perfect strategy - Review where you are now. What is the messaging that you are portraying or aiming to portray? What has changed since the initial launch? What is the feeling that is being experienced by consumers? Has the focus changed? Answering all of these questions and more will give a brand a starting point from which to develop a strategy. Brainstorm the revised message with your team. Focus on what changes are necessary. Understand the consumer base that you are reaching (or desire to reach) and refocus the message. Remove what’s not working - Review your current marketing tactics to reveal what is working and what is not working. Understand what resonates with consumers while speaking to the true heart of the brand. By removing what is not working, brands can better disseminate their message. Freshen up the digital landscape - As part of the refresh of the brand, the digital space must be updated. From websites, blog sites, to social media, update your digital presence to be reflective of the brand change. The visuals with images and video, wording, voice, and feel should be overhauled to match the refreshed brand. Recreate the feel of the retail space - If you have a brick-andmortar space, freshening up the overall appearance, feel, and smell of the place can work wonders. Keeping with the same decor and setup becomes mundane after a while, and items become wallpaper (so to speak) so taking the time to update the decor to match the evolving brand is a must. A new look can go a long way. Ready, Set, Launch - It’s time to launch! Make sure you schedule the brand refresh launch for a particular day and ensure all platforms are updated and ready to go. The launch should be seamless and smooth. Once you have implemented the proper steps for refreshing your brand now you will have to create a strategy for the maintenance of this change. This is the step that a lot of companies fail to put into place. Now carry out the changes that has been set forth in the initial strategy and implement your maintenance plan. Assemble a team that will have distinct roles in the crucial implementation of refreshing all platforms and maintaining the newly updated brand. Go forth and refresh your brand!
District Rhythm: Bringing back R&B to the Roots
Words By: Alexy Irving
While politicking and having lunch at Ballpark Village, I was able to get a better understanding of the variety of events and entertainment Ballpark Village has created in St. Louis. Specifically, Ballpark Village’s 3rd Annual District Rhythms concert series featuring top charting R&B artists. Theron Morgan, Director of Business Development at Ballpark Village, explained that the first District Rhythm series concert will kick-off a sundry of summer long concerts at Ballpark Village. “This year we’re bringing two of the most popular artist in recent memory to Ball Park Village with our concert series, Mint Condition and Dru Hill. Due to this event growing in popularity and bringing out a large number of fans to the District Rhythm concert series, we moved the event outside to incorporate more space for the crowd,” – Theron Morgan said. For the third installation of this annual concert series, Mint Condition will be on the Busch II City View Festival Stage, rain or shine. Mint Condition has been rocking the R&B scene since their first album dropped in 1991 by the name of, “Meant to be Mint”. Their songs are still rotating on radio stations like 95.5 with songs like “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes),” that came from their first album, and “What Kind of Man Would I be”. It is rumored that Mint Condition will be retiring their mics soon, so attendance is futile. They will be showing us exactly what makes them our favorite 90’s band and why they will forever go down in history after 20 plus years of performing. Aunyae Heart is the St. Louis native
who received the honor of opening up for Mint Condition. Heart is a soulful singer who uses the piano to accompany her vivacious lyrics during her performances. Her lyrics have been said to capture the ears of her listeners and become anthems to them. Heart will be sharing the stage with Mint Condition so it is apparent that she knows how to put on a show as well. Following this show with Mint condition, District Rhythms already has their next concert in place. The group, Dru Hill, will be closing this concert series out on July 29th with their headlining tour. Dru Hill is most known for their song, “In My Bed” and “How Deep is Your Love.” The opener who was blessed with the position to open for Dru Hills is the band, Dirty Mugs. Dirty Mugs are also St. Louis natives and perform amazingly choreographed sets. Their genre is considered eclectic because it forces you to get on your feet and shake something! District Rhythm’s is bringing these artists with the help from old school 95.5 and E.I. Vatterott college extreme institute by Nelly. Previous performers of the concert series include: Tony Tony Tony, George Clinton and SWV. Each of these artist symbolizing what we all loved about R&B and what it lacks of now. Make sure to come out to each of these shows in order to get a reminder of what we’re missing in this industry. These concerts will sell out so be sure not to miss this oncein-a-lifetime opportunity. For Ticket information go to Ticketfly.com DELUX MAGAZINE
When you hear the word “opera,” what comes to mind? Big voices, large women in Viking hats, tuxedos and gowns, the uber-rich or, perhaps, the opera scene in “Pretty Woman”? There’s a whole range of misconceptions about opera. With St. Louis home to one of the country’s leading opera companies, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, which kicks off its 41st Festival Season on May 21, we thought now was the perfect time to break some of the common misconceptions about opera.
5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT OPERA Breaking the Bank We’re not sure what you paid the last time you went to a live concert, but it probably wasn’t that different than the cost of a ticket to the opera. One of the biggest myths about opera is that it’s expensive. At Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, single tickets start at $25, and there are special packages (including dinner and drinks) available for audiences under 45 years of age, among others! What Language Do You Speak? “L’amour est un oiseau rebelled”… what? Put away your translation apps. While hundreds of operas have historically been written and sung in French, Italian, and German, not all operas are in a foreign language. In the case of Opera Theatre, all of its operas are performed in English with projected English supertitles. The company’s practice is to perform in the same language spoken by the audience. In fact, that’s what most opera composers wanted; singing in a language the audience doesn’t speak only became popular after the invention of the record player. Leave the Red Carpet Attire at Home Tux, tales, gowns, gloves and diamonds—none apply here. Sure, the term “opera gloves” comes from somewhere, but it’s 2016 and going to the opera is all about the experience and less about the latest trends. As a summer festival, which includes pre-performance picnics and post-performance drinks in large outdoor garden tents, the only suggestion is wear what you want! Celebrity Access: Meet the Stars Did somebody say after party? Perhaps one of the favorite features of attending opera in St. Louis is meeting the singers. They’re kind, welcoming and generous with their time, speaking to fans after each opera. If you’re up for it, audiences are invited to a post-performance outdoor cocktail party after each performance, where you can meet and mingle with the singers. All Welcome, All Represented An audience packed with millionaires and a stage full of elite singers—blame Hollywood for this one. Filmmakers and ad agencies have been embellishing opera for years. But check out an Opera Theatre performance on any given night and you’ll see everyone in the audience from college students and artists to schoolteachers and CEOs. It’s a gathering of young and old across race, class and economic backgrounds, with one thing in common: to discover and be entertained by world-class opera. As for the diversity of singers, one has to look no further than the stars of this year’s festival season, including the likes of Sean Panikkar, American tenor of Sri Lankan heritage who made it to the finals of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; Lauren Michelle, African American opera singer and prize winner of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition; Hae Ji Chang, awardwinning soprano who is a native of Seoul, South Korea; and Aubrey Allicock, bass-baritone of Guyanese and African-American descent who received national recognition for his role as prizefighter Emile Griffith in Opera Theatre’s 2013 world premiere of “Champion.” As Opera Theatre says, “The diversity of our community enriches our stages and our audiences.” Opera Theatre’s 2016 Festival Season runs from May 21 to June 26. This season features Opera Theatre’s signature combination of compelling new operas and masterpieces by beloved composers, including Giacomo Puccini’s eternally popular “La bohème,” Richard Strauss’s moving comedy “Ariadne on Naxos,” Giuseppe Verdi’s magnificent and murderous “Macbeth,” and the highly anticipated world premiere of Jack Perla and Rajiv Joseph’s “Shalimar the Clown,” based on the much-admired novel by Salman Rushdie. The season also includes the second annual “Center Stage” concert, showcasing the talents of OTSL’s young artists. Known for a spring festival of inventive new productions, Opera Theatre features the finest American singers, accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony. Opera Theatre annually welcomes visitors from nearly every state and close to a dozen foreign countries. Single tickets are currently on sale, with prices starting at $25. For tickets or more information, visit http://www.ExperienceOpera.org or follow on Twitter @OTSL or Facebook at @OperaTheatre. 14 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
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ATTORNEY RYAN SMITH
Words by: Caprice Foster // Photo by: MCARTHUR25 Ryan M. Smith, Esquire is more than just a lawyer. He is a man with vision, a competitive spirit, and passion for success, who exhibits pride and devotion to his family. Smith is also someone who not only aims to be the best in the art of practicing law, but also teaches others to achieve the same victories and expertise that he has. “I’m the hardest working man in the legal business,” Smith said with a laugh. “I’m dedicated and enjoy [practicing law]. It’s a passion.” With over 10 years of private practice experience, Smith is the Managing Partner for the law firm, Smith Brown, LLC. Smith and his business partner, Daniel R. Brown established the firm in 2011, and it currently employs three attorneys, of counsel attorneys, paralegals, and support staff. Smith Brown is a full service law firm that has been awarded several multi-million dollar settlements for their clients. The office is located at 9100 Overland Plaza in Overland, Missouri. While the firm offers legal services and representation in all areas of law, Smith specializes in criminal law, personal injury, and traffic law. “I have represented all criminal cases from minor possession cases to first degree murder,” he said. Smith believes that the traits that make a good attorney include passion, dedication, a competitive nature, the ability to multi-task, and a little bit of ADHD. “I don’t sleep and I don’t have a problem with that. I answer the phone all night, and spend most nights plotting and strategizing for the next day.” Aside from his primary work responsibilities, Smith has also served as an adjunct professor at St. Louis Community College at the Meramec Campus for over three years. Presently, he teaches Criminal Law and Torts. “I was teaching before, and while in law school. I’ve always had a passion for kids,” he shared. Previously, Smith taught at Shenandoah Elementary School and at Pruitt Military Academy, both in St. Louis, Missouri.
Smith’s journey hasn’t always been the smoothest, but it has led him to the success that he enjoys today. Originally an Engineering major at the University of Missouri in Columbia, he was kicked out of school after two years “due to a disagreement with Calc. II”, says Smith. Subsequently, Smith became interested in becoming an attorney after being heavily involved in the Student Government and taking part in debates associated with it, as well as dealing with personal legal trouble of his own while in high school. He graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri at St. Louis, and received his Juris Doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2006. In addition to his personal experiences leading him to practice law, there were other influential people in Smith’s life who have mentored and inspired him along the way. Among those include his uncles Melvin Smith and Tim Smith, who are both attorneys, and his father Ronald Smith, who is an engineer. “My father is an awesome example of what a father and a man should be like. He taught me the importance of integrity, being and entrepreneur and ownership.” Smith also considers Thurgood Marshall and Johnnie Cochran as professional influences. “I like the activism that Marshall took part in before becoming a Supreme Court Justice, and I like Johnnie Cochran’s swag. His command of the courtroom was incredibly smooth and he seemed incredibly smart,” Smith said. Although these prominent giants in his life and career field had a major impact on who Smith is and what he does for a living, without question Smith attributes his biggest inspiration to his wife, Dr. Rachelle Smith, and their three children, Ryan II, Michael, and Raven. “Everything I do, is for them or because of them,” Smith stated proudly.
with their academics and after-school activities, athletics, jazz/tap dancing, etc. … I make it a point to try to do something different with them every week to try to expand their horizons.” Even though Smith has accomplished a lot in his life up to this point, he assures that he’s just getting started. “I want to continue to grow our business and our brand, and become prominent not only in the Midwest, but across the entire nation. I want to grow something that I can establish a legacy behind for my children to have.” Retirement isn’t something Smith is planning any time soon. “I plan to be in the courtroom until I’m 80 or 90 years old, not because I have to, but because I enjoy it,” he said confidently. “I want to be known as one of the best trial attorneys to have ever done it. I want to make sure they put some respeck on my name”, Smith said jokingly. The attorney also has words of encouragement for young people, or those who are interested in pursuing careers in the law field. “Don’t let anything hold you back. There’s going to be bumps and road blocks along the way, but you have to keep moving forward. Success isn’t determined by whether or not you face obstacles, but how you react to those obstacles. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s good to get support or mentorship from someone. If anyone ever wanted to know something from me, all they have to do is ask. A closed mouth doesn’t get fed.” Smith truly loves what he does and strives to be the best at it. “I’m having fun doing it. There’s no other way to summarize it.”
To contact The Law Office of Smith Brown LLC, please call their 24-hour hotline at 314-467-0529.
Despite having such a busy work schedule, Smith devotes his free time to his family. “They keep me busy and keep me motivated. I try to be involved DELUX MAGAZINE
18 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
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KIRA VAN NIEL
By: Breanna Hall
One of the most amazing things about being in a position of success is the way in which you choose to give back. Whether you teach, or volunteer at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, it’s vital that we use our skillset to further the cause. Our cause. Kira Van Niel works passionately to do just that. The bubbly powerhouse is using her influence to foster change and opportunities in the St. Louis community. As a project engineer for Boeing, one of the world’s largest aerospace companies, Kira exercises her passions for communication, engineering, and travel in ways that help others. When asked about how it feels to be a Black woman in her position, Kira admitted that it has been “interesting to represent both demographics.” Undoubtedly, African Americans are of poor representation in the STEM fields, and the numbers of African American women present are even lower. On acclimating into her current position, Kira acknowledged that the “rhetoric around diversity is present, yet the true application of inclusion may be a little bit more challenging.” Kira has participated as a member of the Black Boeing Employee Association and the Emerging Leaders Program, which allows for professionals to network with peers and associates who are higher up on the corporate ladder and extend their network. Although she is one of few minorities, Van Niel’s millennial perspective has never allowed for her to feel inferior in her work environment. She stated that she is always an advocate for inclusion, as well as diversity. “It’s knowing that I’m good enough. I’m smart. I’m talented. I’m ambitious. I know my worth internally and externally. And I’m not afraid to have those conversations with people who are perceivably ‘out of my lane’.” Kira also stated the importance of young professionals not being afraid to take on new challenges, even if their ambition seems aggressive, which is a stereotype about millennials in the work environment. “I’ve always been an advocate… when [businesses] want to be inclusive, yet they speak on the behalf of minorities or young people, instead of having [them] represent themselves. The question becomes how do we include these groups into the conversation to further the company’s agenda, growth, and revenue potential?” When asked about her aspirations, Kira stated that going further in leadership and “empowering African Americans from an economic standpoint” were of importance to her. As a result, the 31 year old engineer is channeling her brainpower and energy into the community. Kira expressed that she is very much invested in STEM and providing access to technical opportunities, “so that everyone has an opportunity to be inventive and innovative.” Kira has served on the board of several organizations including: the National Urban League Young Professionals Executive Board, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Board of Directors, and The Sophia Project Board of Directors, to name a few. She is the co-founder of The Corporate Activist, a curriculum based advocacy platform to help employees of corporations identify their “advocacy credo” and align to their employer’s social impact statement. Kira states, “This is a beautiful unison of all of the work that I’ve done, post-college graduation, until this point. Through ‘The Corporate Activist”, we plan to help young professionals, who are interested in being more outstanding in their community impact work, align with their company’s social impact statement. We understand that this is a hard line to walk, jeopardizing their upward mobility or their professional aspirations by being too outspoken in community and social justice environments. However, I think everyone has some ownership in driving change. The ultimate goal is to make sure that we are impacting the community in a more holistic way.” Kira is also an advocate for The Sophia Project, which is a mentoring
program for young girls in middle school and high school. “This intervention program focuses on character growth by showcasing the multitude of ways in which a young women can grow to be a beautiful woman. Life is about choices and they get to see the product of choice firsthand from the women who participate.” Van Niel has always had a certain zest for life, and shared that after graduating, spent six weeks touring Europe, then moved to New York. The DC native attributes North Carolina for her education and St. Louis for her growth as a woman. “My departure from college and transition into the ‘real world’ kicked off my journey through adulthood. My defining moment occurred around my 30th birthday when I realized the consequences of my successes and struggles play equally pivotal parts to my growth.” Van Niel credits another St. Louis powerhouse, Rebeccah Bennett and her concept of “How to Live an Extraordinary Life,” as a source of inspiration for her lifestyle. [Bennett states], “Part of living an extraordinary life is really predicated on your choices. When you make those choices, you’re making sure that they’re aligned with who you are in a particular space.” Kira states, “My interpretation: reduce probability of regret by owning the decisions that you make, which I think is the most powerful thing you can do. Regardless of the consequences of your choices, it was something that you wanted, therefore you own your decisions, and your journey.” Kira credits her love of yoga with helping her channel her energy in the best possible way. Over the years, she has learned to maintain her personal health and growth, while continuing to give. “I got more specific on how I could use my skills to help, and I learned how to say ‘no’. As a result, I learned the value of investing in myself more.” Of her work, Kira says, “My time here in St. Louis has really helped me to define what ‘hill’ I stand on, also known as my advocacy credo. I know that I am a solution broker committed to empowering the black community by helping pave pathways to economical self-reliance and women and girls through innovative learning initiatives. My work will always fall into these buckets.” Interested in keeping up with Kira? She’s available on all social media at @ itskmv. If you know of any young girl who would benefit from The Sophia Project, please visit http://www.thesophiaproject.org/. DELUX MAGAZINE
Believable Banking Home Mortgage The Believable Banking Home Mortgage is a home loan designed to assist people on the pathway to affordable, successful home ownership, while helping revitalize neighborhoods. The unique mortgage structure and flexible underwriting guidelines are essential in our effort to empower people to overcome some of the challenges in mortgage qualification. The pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling requirements help educate new and existing homeowners. The “Emergency Reserve Fund” helps empower them to face life’s challenges that can potentially threaten their homeownership.
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DELUX.COM OR IPAD APP FOR MORE WITH JADE HARRELL
By:Ebonie Young // Photo by: McArthur25
Riddle me this. Who can raise five energetic children and one large dog, while being a loving wife and juggling a position with one of the nation’s most notable media companies, in addition to simultaneously growing and expanding their own business, all while rocking a fierce head wrap, wearing a smile and radiating positivity? Jade Harrell that’s who! Born in Denver, Colorado to a family of club jockeys and music enthusiasts, Jade entered the world with a spring in her step and talent in her veins. She began, what later blossomed into her media career, as a lunchtime DJ at her high school. There she thrived off of her earthy but conscious peers and gained an interest in her dad’s album and turn table collection. Through him, she acquired a keen ear for music and began to mix popular songs and create mixtapes. She was extremely shy back then so she spoke through her creations. Jade’s family knew that she was passionate about mixing but they ushered her into a more traditional route and advocated for her to attend college rather than furthering her DJ career. Understanding of her family’s point of view, she relocated to Virginia and attended Hampton University. While in college, she did not have a real vision for what she wanted to do with her degree. In fact, she found herself gravitating back to her love of music and seeking ways to showcase her mixes. She found an outlet in the on campus aerobics class that she had taught. There she debuted her new tapes for clients and got a chance to really see people vibe with her preferred method of communication. Jade graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration but instead of returning home to Denver, she joined her family in their new
home of Atlanta, Georgia. Just when she thought that she had found a good balance of traditional work and adult life, fate rerouted her path into a much different direction. During a night out with the girls, Jade found herself shoulder to shoulder with none other than DJ Emperor Searcy and Lil John. After a few cocktails and encouragement from her friends, she mustered up the courage to speak to them. She impressed them with her ear for sound and mix. Eager to see if she was the real deal, they allowed her to mix a set that night in front of the entire club. Through her skillful display, Jade took on the name DJ Ability and began booking gigs from the club scene onto the radio with Nation Time Syndicate where she worked with rap great Chris Lova Lova, now known as Ludacris, DJ Dose and Poon Daddy. Burned out from the club scene, Jade slowed down and met, who would later become, her husband. After 13 years in Atlanta and two children later, Jade’s family relocated to St. Louis in 1999 to be near her husband’s family. Uncomfortable in the new city, Jade was once again unsure of how to navigate the waters. However, she did know that this was the perfect opportunity to tackle her dream of working in media. She began to envision starting her own production company but with the kids and her family, she let it fall by the wayside. Despite the references from her work in Atlanta, Jade did not receive any responses until 2005 when she convinced her husband to give a taped session of her on air presence to a radio personality with Clear Channel Media. The tape landed in the hands of the Operations Manager who was intrigued by Jade’s skill and helped land her a part time position as an on-air-personality. Jade worked the Saturday overnight shift through two
more pregnancies and under the guidance of BJ the DJ, earned a spot as the host and producer for Sunday Morning Live. The station underwent several transitions over the next several years. Within this time, Jade underwent a transformation of her own. She describes it as, “Doing me while I was DOING ME…building up under the machine” and in 2012 she launched her business RareGem Productions, a full service production company that specializes in highlighting the success and achievements in the black community, producing positive content and providing access to urban communities through media. Today Jade Harrell is THEE definition of a RENAISSANCE WOMAN. In addition to being a mother and a wife, she manages her show, Community Connections with Jade Harrell, on five iHeart Media (formally Clear Channel Media) radio stations while simultaneously producing 25 programs for independent clients as RareGem Productions. Currently one of her shows is ranked as the #1 healthcare podcast in the nation and serves 180 countries! This year alone Jade has been featured in the St. Louis Business Journal for her work with Alive & Well STL initiative and she has been inducted into the 2016 Grace Hill Women’s Business Center Wall of Fame. Jade is on a roll and shows no signs of slowing down. RareGem is set to launch a 24-hour network of digital radio stations in Fall 2016. It will include a 24-hour business talk and community affairs station, as well as a 7 O’Clock PM Children’s Story Hour to establish routine literacy no matter where the children reside. Jade Harrell is not only an exceptional business woman and fearless champion for the urban voice and community, she is also a shining example of how to seize the day and walk in your purpose.
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22 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
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DELUX.COM OR IPAD APP FOR MORE WITH MAYA WARREN
By:Sylvia Woods // Photo by: McArthur25
THE AMAZING RACE is a multi-Emmy Award-winning reality series hosted by Emmy Award-nominated host Phil Keoghan. The series began its milestone 25th trip around the world on Saturday, May 31, 2014, when the Emmy Awardwinning series kicked off from Times Square in New York City. The 25th season spanned 26,000 miles through eight countries, including first time visits to the United States Virgin Islands, Malta, and the Shetland Islands of Scotland. 11 teams of 2 competed in a series of challenges, some mental and some physical. Teams who were the farthest behind were gradually eliminated as the contest progressed, with the first to arrive at the final destination winning THE AMAZING RACE and the $1 million prize. Maya Warren and teammate Amy DeJong, Food Scientists from Madison, Wisconsin, affectionately called “sweet scientists,” whom at the time were doctoral students’, was the team of two none of us saw coming! From the start of the series, the energy coming from these two was simply amazing! Warren, a St. Louisan, attended Rosati Kain and then later enrolled in the University of Wisconsin as a food science major. Upon arrival in Times Square in May 2014, she and her partner wreaked of confidence, determination and perseverance. We finally caught up with Maya who was traveling on business from St. Louis to Texas, to see what’s next for the “sweet scientist!” Dr. Maya Warren received her PhD in Food Science in September 2015, one year after taking home the $1 million prize on THE AMAZING RACE. Her research background is in frozen aerated desserts. Dr. Warren breaks it down in layman terms (for us non-scientists.) In essence, she researches the microstructure, behavioral, and sensorial properties of frozen aerated desserts and how partial coalescence (the agglomeration of fat globules) effects the melt behavior of frozen aerated desserts. “I look at ice cream as a science; just like we dissected frogs in high school, I dissect ice cream. Air cells, fat globules, partially coalesced fat globules and ice crystals make my eyes light up! I love what I do and do what I love and ice cream fits right into the category of love for me!” says Warren. Dr. Warren propelled full steam ahead after the show’s airing. She has embarked
on her entrepreneur journey as a consultant and as a public speaker in the frozen dessert industry. She speaks in engagements across the country on the science term “Looking Beyond the Goggles and Outside the Beaker” and on “Being a Woman Scientist and Beyond.” Dr. Warren shares experiences about being on THE AMAZING RACE. She inspires young kids to do those things they’ve always wanted to do. She wants young people of color to know that there is opportunity right outside of their doorstep and nothing is impossible! But wait, it gets even sweeter! In January 2016, portfolio brands Cold Stone Creamery and Pinkberry, announced Dr. Warren as lead food scientist ‘Tastemaster’ and Director of Research and Development for the companies. Warren creates new flavors and innovative products unique to each concept. She promotes frozen treats and continues the tradition of putting out amazing product lines and profiles that appeal to guests worldwide. In her leisure, Dr. Warren enjoys working out, running in marathons, traveling, watching the Food Network and hanging with family and friends. When we asked Dr. Warren, “How did you do it? How did you know you would win?” Warren said, “I just knew it from the very beginning. I told my partner, “We’re going to win this thing.” This is without a shadow of a doubt proof that there is power in the tongue and in thought. Dr. Warren spoke life into her dreams and they became amazingly true. She and her partner, DeJong, watched and analyzed all 24 seasons of the popular reality show to study secrets of winning teams and figure out strategies that would work best for them. We were not surprised when we asked Dr. Warren, “What is something most people don’t know about you? She answered, “I like to people watch.” People watching, completing brutally hard insanity workouts every morning for months, enjoying the moments, embracing the experiences and keeping their formidable brainpower under the radar was the cherry on top of the sweetest deal yet - - St. Louis’ 1st African-American female food scientist to win THE AMAZING RACE, Dr. Maya Warren.
Postpartum Hair Loss By The Hair Whisperer Tendai
It has been said that hair is a woman’s crown and glory or something like that…. There are even sayings that have been adopted like “Long Hair Don’t Care”. Heck it’s even safe to say that if a woman is having a bad hair day her attitude is not as pleasant as it could be. Hair sets the tone for many occasions. We even have protective styles and take extra special protective measures to preserve a certain look. To many women hair is as precious as Gold. So this subject will be sore and familiar for many you reading this article. Isn’t funny how during pregnancy a woman’s hair seems to just thrive and grow? Women gain weight of course which we accept comes with a huge reward afterwards. We look forward to the perks of pregnancy for example, growing bigger breasts especially if you are lacking in this department, glowing skin, and fuller thicker hair. After we have the baby many women have been shocked to experience and notice what feels like severe hair loss. Some women have reported hair coming out in clumps around their hair line. While this event is alarming to say the least scientific studies have shown that this event is normal. This traumatic experience known as postpartum hair loss is the process in which there is a sudden loss of hair (sometimes in clumps) that many new mothers experience between three and six months after they give birth. Normally, the average head loses hairs a day but not all at once, so you don’t notice them. Your pregnancy hormones keep those hairs from falling out (which is why your hair looks as lush as a supermodel’s, or is so thick you can barely get a brush through it). But as the old saying goes “All good things must come to an end.” And that includes your thick head of hair. When those hormones drop back to normal, the extra hairs drop off of your head unfortunately. Depressing is an understatement at this point. Please take comfort in knowing that this is a temporary event. Take a look at your beautiful baby and then focus on these words of advice. 1. Keep your hair healthy by eating well and taking a prenatal vitamin supplement. 2. Be extra- gentle during your shedding season to prevent excess hair loss after pregnancy by co washing your hair and using your fingers to detangle and minimize shedding and breakage. 3. Please avoid any chemically based treatments (color, relaxers, straightening treatments, texturizers). You may want to wear a protective style until shedding stops. 4. Talk to your doctor or practitioner if your hair loss is excessive. When it’s accompanied by other symptoms, hair loss after pregnancy could be a sign of postpartum thyroiditis. 5. And last but not least REDUCE STRESS!!. Stress (especially from life-changing events such as childbirth) can play a major role in hair loss. Engage in stress reduction techniques such as meditation, exercise, nature walks, laughter yoga, pet therapy, a personal hobby or anything else that puts you in a Zen state of mind. Make it as much a priority to take care of yourself as well as your baby in those first few months after birth. For more Whisper Tips from behind the Chair please visit my website. www.tendaithehairwhisperer.com
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26 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
Inspired by a father in politics, Saint Louis’ first female treasurer, Tishaura O. Jones did not initially accept her calling on a political future. With a bachelor’s in finance from Hampton University and a background in the banking industry, she’d rather enjoy her life off the political track. “I avoided it most of my adult life. [Politics] took him away from his family a lot.” There are those who jump to conclusions and say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree without first observing and studying that apple. Tishaura prefers to say, “We shouldn’t blame children by the sense of their parents” in reference to her father’s political past. One displeasing situation that happens pretty frequently is people calling her father instead of her to ask for favors or things they need from her. “A lot of times it’s men who call him first. But we’ve practiced the response to that and he’s pretty good about sending them my way. I only allow that [action] from a few who are close to us.”
Words by: Tiffany Shawn // Photos by AG Photography
E IF L Y P G L O IN OR G E N R P F O E OFNDINGSTRIT... T O N O L E WUN . I’M ING A R R R R A ’M YO IDE I A S M ON C
28 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
pon being submerged into the political world, Tishaura knew the hardship it could bring to one’s life but then saw the rewards it could reap when asked to be a committee woman in her ward. “I figured ‘this is volunteer work, I can do this in my spare time.’ Something was awakened in my genetic makeup and I really liked it. I had a chance to meet amazing people who were doing amazing things; even Barack Obama. This was before he was the President of the United States. I was able to watch his ascension and really got inspired by that.” Tishaura saw an opportunity to use politics to do good things in public office. People often think of politics in a negative light and she wanted to change that. Tishaura served as a Missouri State Representative from 2008-2012 and was the first African-American and first female assistant minority floor leader. While there were positives about that position, as there are in her current one, she wouldn’t be interested in another run as a state rep. “Missouri is in a sensitive place right now as far as our legislature is concerned. Compromise seems to be a dirty word. I was able to successfully do that while there, but we have a new crop of legislatures who are uncompromising when it comes to idealism, not necessarily their party. Idealism has replaced the party, which makes them unable to compromise one way or the other.” Sworn in as Treasurer of the city of St. Louis on January 1, 2013 and currently seeking reelection, Tishaura is not only the first woman in St. Louis’ history to hold the office, but also the first Black woman. However, she’s not driven by this status, rather by the confidence in being the most qualified for the job based on experience and education. Serving a couple of terms as a state representative gave her a good grasp on the demarcation between state and local and federal government. “I built relationships across the country that allowed me to bring other programs and resources to St. Louis. I never really thought about being the first woman, just the most experienced.” If reelected as Treasurer, Tishaura wants to continue empowering people with knowledge of all-things-finance. “We are looking at ways to help people repair credit in pretty simple ways. I wrote a grant with the mayor that added St. Louis to the Cities for Financial Empowerment Network. I had a chance to spend a weekend with 14 others from cities around the country and we updated each other on what we’re working on and got great ideas [from one another].” One idea she carried back to her office was a way to help people in public housing build, or rebuild, credit. Reporting on time rent payments to a credit bureau would do this. “Rent payments stay on your credit history for 24 months. A person may not have good credit history or perhaps they have none at all. But six months of good credit reporting can help them increase their credit score. By helping them increase credit scores, as a community, we slowly push out payday lenders because these persons will then be able to access low dollar loans.” Better credit scores gives one access to available lines of credit in many forms like that of loans and secure credit cards. “People are accessing payday loans for around $300 and with this in place, people have more access [to viable options]. A favorite part of her current position is being able to create the Office of Financial Empowerment. “We are building something from scratch that has never been done before in St. Louis by putting this in a government seat and offering it as a service of city government. We have weekly classes, space for one-on-one counseling, and a computer lab. Banks and non-profits have office hours inside the Office of Financial Empowerment and they talk to anyone in need of their services. During Money Smart Week in April, we had classes daily.”
Tishaura loves being able to bring forth programs that help people. For example by partnering with STL Youth Jobs, a civic collaboration providing meaningful employment opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-23 in our community, over 1500 kids are banked that were previously were not. Teaching the necessary lessons early about being in the financial mainstream is of the utmost importance for Tishaura and her staff. Another program in place is a the College Kids Program, a savings program in which 3100 kindergarteners now have a college savings seed accounts in place. Parents and guardians are able to contribute money to the accounts. The children also will be eligible to earn additional college funds based upon incentives for good grades, attendance, and behavior according to https://www.stlouis-mo.gov. “We take ideas from other places and tweak them in our environment. A similar program is in its 5th year in San Francisco and we are wrapping up our 1st year, ready to take on another set of kindergarteners in the fall. As an active volunteer in the community and member of the St. Louis Metropolitan Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Incorporated, Tishaura also sits on the board of the Wyman Center, the Independence Center, and the People’s Community Action Corporation. She manages to juggle all of that along with her position as City Treasurer all the while being a full time mom to one son. To get through the daily shuffle, she makes appointments with herself. “My staff sees it on my schedule. Those appointments are me going to the gym in the morning, hair appointments on the weekend, [and maybe even] getting my nails and toes done. I even schedule time to have my son with a family member so I can have a little me time when we need a break from each other. It’s pretty difficult being a single mom but we take it all in stride but you have to set time away for yourself and not feel guilty about it.” Adding to this already overflowing plate is the question of running for the next mayor of St. Louis. “A lot of people are wondering if I’m running for mayor. I’m strongly considering it. It’d be foolish not to with the seat being open. And St. Louis has never had a female, much less a Black female mayor. Races like this take resources so I’ll spend the summer praying about where to find those resources. If by a certain date we don’t have them, we’ll make a decision on whether or not we can make that run.” Tishaura O. Jones is making positive changes for our city, our children, and even in mindsets as far as how some view political figures. Whichever move she makes will be a win for the city of St. Louis!
SELECTING A SCHOOL JUST BECAME EASIER! ONE PLACE, ONE GOAL, ONLINE. Now there is one place, online where you can electronically submit your application to attend one of 17 charter public schools in St. Louis. All you need is a computer, tablet or smart phone and 5 minutes. Schools will process applications, provide more information about their program and and contact you regarding student enrollment; all with one click of a button. The online enrollment system is available on each participating schoolâ€™s website, the Missouri Charter Public School Associationâ€™s website (mocharterschools.org) and partner organizations, including STLCitySchools.org.
Carondelet Leadership Academy
Lafayette Preparatory Academy
St. Louis Language Immersion Schools
DELUX MAGAZINE’S: WHO’S WHO PROFESSIONAL GUIDE Words by: Shadress Burks
THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM SOLVER
ANGELA GRADY Director of Diversity Inclusion at Mercy
Sometimes we choose our careers and other times, well, they choose us. In another life, with dreams of becoming a broadcast journalist or an investigative journalist; Angela Grady, found herself in a career that embodies both fields. Better yet, it found her. As the Director of Diversity Inclusion; Grady is able to help people, provide awareness, and create new environments for employees and different communities. Passionate about both people and the education for all children; Grady had her first experience with diversity by volunteering at her daughter’s school. Recognizing there was an achievement gap among minority children surrounding English and Math; she became hands on with the diversity committee. After receiving a grant, the math program became more successful and was then implemented at other schools. Following her love and desire for the healthcare field, Grady’s passion extended to St. Louis Hospital where she worked as a human resource manager. Equipped with the education and innate desire to affect change; Grady soon found herself at the community based organization known as Mercy.
Director of Diversity Inclusion, Grady’s role encompasses all forms of diversity that exceed beyond gender, age and race. The unique aspect the position affords her is the chance to explore everything that makes people different, so she is able to assist Mercy in meeting the healthcare needs in different communities. One would think this was your everyday 9 to 5, but Grady states that is far from the truth. Waking up every day and being presented with chances to work with new organizations allows her creativity to stay sharp. As she fastens her seatbelt; Angela shifts into high gear with her career plans at Mercy. With dreams of expanding diversity roles in work places; she continues to break grounds by coming up with new programs to improve workplace environments and the relationships with the community as the need and impact surrounding diversity continues to expand.
“In a way, I was always being primed for this position. My past roles always included diversity of some kind “
“In a way, I was always being primed for this position. My past roles always included diversity of some kind,” -Grady In her current role, Grady is given the opportunity to fill the gaps where a diversifying need is presented. As the
32 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
ADVOCACY FOR YOUTH
FLINT FOWLER President of Boys & Girls of Greater St. Louis
The youth are who we leave behind. Legacies that carry on the imprints we made while we were here. Proof that although chaos and darkness has its moments; there is always a flower hidden where no one thought the sun would shine. Working and advocating for the youth and their well-being has always been a part of his life. Making his debut into the youth field at 15 years old; Flint Fowler started out as camp counselor for the Boy Scouts organization. Being a part of exposing children to fun through positive activities, he found a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Realizing children were his niche, he continued on the path of making a difference in young people’s lives. Helping to shape children’s worlds and minds for Fowler is a personal responsibility. To him, if we don’t help shape them early on they will eventually go down the wrong path. Understanding this very fact is what lead him to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis. Hearing about the position from someone, he decided to apply. Now years later, he holds the position of President of the organization. With duties shifting between engaging with the children and building lasting partnerships with companies; Fowler welcomes the chance to create better opportunities for boys and girls. To most, showing up to meetings can seem tedious, but for him it affords him the chance to listen to what’s being said. Forming lasting partnerships and managing staff are also a part of his day to day duties. Above all, Fowler values being present and being a voice for those who can’t speak most important. Working for an organization that not only has a rich history in St. Louis, but a bright future as well; excites and pushes him to reach beyond corners that have long been abandoned.
Staying in front of challenges and remaining current are tools he uses to help navigate and keep his team afloat. Rising above the north city area most have neglected; Fowler is proudest of the participants that make it and reach back to let him know he or one of his staff were positive contributors in their life. Past and present connections are the foundation in which he built the alumni program on. Allowing past program participants to return to share their success stories involving the staff and club validates that he’s doing what he should be doing.
“Everyone has a role in contributing to the welfare of their community”
Even with the daily engagements that makes what he does worthwhile; Fowler like most have frustrations he deals with. After laughing briefly about the amount of tape I may need to record, he expressed them. Not knowing what to expect; Fowler stated his biggest frustration is that most people don’t recognize the value in children. They don’t realize that the message that is being conveyed to them is “I don’t care.” In essence, he is plagued with wondering if he is making a difference. In what he considers to be a resource; Fowler prides himself on working for an organization that is a safe place for children. Creating appropriate images, while providing positive perspectives are what he considers to be an investment to the community. Contributing to the beautification of the neighborhood, as well as, providing resources to people are a few of things the historic institution does to enhance the community. Taking it step by step, Fowler’s mission is to continue to capture children at an early age and begin feeding into them the concepts, ideas, dreams, hopes, and aspirations to create possibilities that are endless. For me leaving this interview, I felt empowered and a sense of accountability to contribute more to improving the city I call home. DELUX MAGAZINE
THE TALENT SCOUT:
MELANIE MOORE Director of Talent Acquisition for Monsanto
I don’t know about you, but it’s always empowering for me to see a Black woman calling the shots at a major corporation. For Melanie Moore, who knew that a summer internship would be the jumpstart to a career at Monsanto. Born and raised in St. Louis, Moore holds the position Director of Talent Acquisition. Responsible for the North American region; Moore had no idea she would be where she is. Starting out with an educational path moving in the direction of marketing education, Moore’s trajectory was shifted when she was placed in a HR position at the company she was interning at. Initially opposed to the placement, she decided to give it a try and soon discovered she loved the field. Spending her last two years of college at the company, Moore began her preparations for her new career path.
work week extends far beyond the walls of Monsanto. Coaching and counseling people on what they need to do to get a job, definitely keeps her on top of her game. The rewards behind it all is knowing her advice helped someone achieve something they sought after. On some intense days, Moore may dream of only being responsible for herself, but that soon fades when her team has performed well. In addition to teamwork, she feels being a part of a company that strives to find new ways to be in touch with the community adds some bonus points. As a St. Louis founded company, Monsanto was one of the companies committed to improving Ferguson. Sitting on board committees and donating millions to enhance the neighborhoods that make up the St. Louis community. As a company that prides itself on diversity; Moore speaks highly of the organization she has contributed 8 years to. With its strong focus on diversity and lack of minorities in science and math based fields; Moore casually mentions the STEM program Monsanto puts on. The company feels influencing children at an early age regarding these particular fields will spark an interest for careers in those fields. Keeping her ear to the ground and her strategy skills fresh; Moore has her eyes set on growing and moving up the corporate ladder. With no sights set on retirement just yet, her hopes for the city she loves is that it moves pass issues like lack of support, shortage of opportunities, segregation & racism; so we are able to hold onto our young professionals who will in turn make our city grow.
“I feel most successful when my team performs well”
Sharpening her skills, Moore found herself at a staffing agency. It was there she became intimate with the true form of hustling. Holding down a commission based position she carried on with helping people find jobs they loved. With the marketing education career in her rearview mirror, she soon gravitated into the event planning field. Owning her own business was both exciting and fun, but short-lived once her son arrived. With event planning not too far out of her reach; Moore still keeps her creativity fix fed by planning events here and there for friends and family. Always on call because there is always a need.
For Moore the true satisfaction comes when she or her team is able to be a part of finding someone a job they love. Racing from meeting to meeting, she finds that a 40-hour 34 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
THE PEOPLE vs THE UNDERDOG
RAPHAEL MORRIS Attorney At Law
Flashback to 1994 when the OJ Simpson trial played out before our eyes. To some we watched to see what the outcome might be; while one young man became solidified on what career path he would be taking. Watching Johnnie Cochran capture the eyes of many as he fought for justice inspired Raphael Morris to become an attorney. As a black man in America; Morris knew the struggles African Americans encountered within the unfair legal system. He realized early on the social injustices that plagued our community need another voice. Hearing the not guilty verdict was the aphrodisiac that sealed his fate and gave him hope that he could be an example of someone who rose above the many stereotypes young black men often battle with. Now as an attorney for 13 years, Morris always knew he never wanted to work along the lines of corporate law. His true passion was to work with people and to be a representative for them. In turn, this focal point placed him within the lines of criminal and personal injury law. Never wanting to work behind the walls of a firm; Morris worked two years at Smith & Associates before embarking on his path to work for himself. Placing all his eggs in one basket, he had no doubt this was what he was meant to do. Ten years later, a scary afterthought floated throughout the room before he decided on teaching as his alternate career if he wasn’t practicing law. The avid work alcoholic often finds himself devoting his time between parenting and his clients.
“When someone puts their life in your hands, they trust you. It’s a huge responsibility; a huge burden. However, every time I walk someone out of the courtroom, it’s a huge satisfaction.” - Morris With every not guilty verdict, Morris feels as if he’s given his all. A second chance at life to another person not lost within the system. Although, sometimes a guilty verdict is inevitable; he finds contentment in knowing he’s done everything within his power to represent his client. Carrying a huge passion for the underdog, Morris knew firsthand he wanted to side with the defense. As our conversation progressed, I asked him why the outside versus the inside of the system. Jokingly, Morris stated he could never return to his old neighborhood of Pagedale as a prosecutor. He felt his services would be better suited for the average person who could not afford a milliondollar attorney. As a native to St. Louis, Morris gives back to the community by reading to elementary students and donating his old suits to an organization who helps provide clothing to people who may not be able to afford interview attire. With no plans of sitting still, Morris continues to chase uncertainty as he builds his practice. Somewhere in the far out future; he states he may give sitting on the bench as a judge a try, but no time soon. Until then, you can catch him racing behind the adrenaline rush known to him as the law.
“I had never met or even seen a black attorney in St. Louis before I became an attorney. I mean I assumed they existed, but before 25 I had never seen one. I knew I wanted to come back to St. Louis and be that black face on this side of the criminal justice system,”
FROM CORPORATE TO FAMILY BUSINESS:
TIFFANY HAMILTON Real Estate Agent at Hamilton Group Real Estate
After spending six months in corporate America; real estate agent, Tiffany Hamilton knew corporate America was not for her. Residing in Chicago at the time; Hamilton realized she was miserable and so did her parents. After a phone call from her mother stating she was starting her own business; she made the decision to return home and work for her family business, Hamilton Group Real Estate. Attracted to the flexibility and non-corporate possibilities, Hamilton quickly obtained her sales and brokerage license. Passionate about real estate, she eats, breathes and lives real estate. Unsure if this career was the path she should pursue; Hamilton eventually began to enjoy the various aspects of the field. Whether it was meeting new people or the challenges real estate throws at her, Hamilton enjoys the thirst of it all. Not to mention, the job comes with plenty of perks. Flexibility and control of her own schedule are two of the perks that make her decision worthwhile.
all hours of the day and possibly the night. Whether on the beach or somewhere up north, Hamilton’s drive and love for what she does keeps her on the clock. “Meeting a lot of young people who looked like me, were close to my age and were handling millions of dollars in real estate made me want to push myself harder.” – Hamilton Maintaining a heavy listing, Hamilton’s non-stop business is kept running by referrals. Not believing in traditional marketing, for the last 11 years, Hamilton has built her business based on her reputation with previous clients. Her non-marketing stance stems from her belief in loyalty attracting loyalty. To her, most buyers tend to rotate from agent to agent because of how they were treated. With no marketing and word of mouth clientele; Hamilton feels referrals mean more and validates the hard work she has done to build her professional reputation. Because the real estate field can be tricky and a lot of agents are deceitful; Hamilton along with a fellow real estate agent gives back to first time home buyers. A free quarterly seminar is held at the Richmond Heights center where information is given to equip new buyers with knowledge on
“...handling millions of dollars in real estate made me want to push myself harder”
Like most people, Hamilton enjoys the highs of the business and admits she’s had her fair share of lows. She explains that the field comes with lots of competitiveness, years of hard work required and the fluctuation of the market can be discouraging. Hamilton however, has weathered the storms and made it through. Contributing eleven years into the business, she is now able to see the residuals of her hard work paying off. With no such thing as a typical day, Hamilton is always putting out fires and juggling listings at
SUMMER CAMPS ENROLLING NOW! Swim
The summer camp season is here and the Boys & Girls Clubs will be offering day camp at a St. Louis City and County location near you. Our summer camp offers youth ages 6-18 a fun and dynamic experience that will spark creativity, engagement, and exploration through learning activities mixed with tons of fun, swimming, teen and STEM programs as well as field trips.
For more information, visit www.bgcstl.org or call the CLUB closest to you.
Te e n A c t i v i t i e s
Adams Park Club – (6/13-8/5) 7:30 am - 5:30 pm • Camp Ages: 6-15 yrs 314.633.7900 • 4317 Vista Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110 Ferguson Middle School Club – (6/13-7/29) 7:30 am - 5:30 pm • Camp Ages: 6-15 yrs 314.335.8330 • 701 January Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63135 Herbert Hoover Club – (6/13-8/5) 7:30 am - 5:30 pm • Camp Ages: 6-15 yrs 314.335.8000 • 2901 N. Grand Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63107 Normandy High School – (6/16-8/11) 7:30 am - 5:30 pm • Camp Ages: 13-18 yrs 636.675.9526 • 6701 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Louis, MO 63121 Riverview Gardens Club – (6/8-7/29) 7:30 am - 5:30 pm • Camp Ages: 6-11 yrs 314.335.8275 • 174 Shepley Drive, St. Louis, MO 63137 O’Fallon Park Club – (6/13-8/5) 7:30 am - 5:30 pm • Camp Ages: 6-15 yrs 314.932.1371 • 4343 West Florissant, St. Louis, MO 63115 Southeast Middle School – (6/8-7/29) 8:30 am - 5:30 pm • Camp Ages: 11-15 yrs 314.953.7795 • 918 Prigge Road, St. Louis, MO 63138 Twillman Club at Larimore Elementary – (6/8-7/29) 6/8-7/7, Noon - 5:00 pm & 7/8-7/29, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm • Camp Ages: 6-12 yrs 314.335-8350 • 1025 Trampe Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63138
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis
(314) 335.8000 www.bgcstl.org
SABRINA MCARTHUR25 PHOTOGRAPHY LE DIVINE COLLECTION & HAIR BOUTIQUE 1426 Washington Ave ST. LOUIS, MO MAKE UP BY CARTA WORKS
38 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
At City Garden, donors help teachers create a loving, diverse environment focused on guiding each child to high outcomes through individualized Montessori education. Each child and family is supported so that academic opportunities create indelible learning experiences and joyful, life-long learners who are growing into community leaders. City Garden’s Guiding Values • Outstanding Montessori Education • Racial Equity and Social Justice • Community and Connection • Radical Hospitality
Organizational Priorities • Academic Excellence for All • Accessible Early Childhood Education • Comprehensive Support Services • Safety, Health & Well-Being
1618 Tower Grove Ave • St. Louis, MO 63110 • 314-664-7646 • citygardenschool.org 42 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
SPACE AVAILABLE IN KDG, 1ST, 5TH & 6TH GRADE Work hard. Be nice.
KIPP stands for the Knowledge Is Power Program! Our schools provide a college preparatory education with a focus on character building. KIPP has four high-performing schools in St. Louis City, dedicated to preparing your child for success in college and life, by expanding their confidence and providing a rigorous curriculum.
Committed Teachers Extended School Day No Admission Test Free Transportation Tuition FREE ¡Se habla español!
ENROLLMENT IS EASY: Online | KIPPstl.org/enroll Call | 314.896.0123 or Text | “Enroll” to 314.896.0123 In Person | @ any KIPP school Visit KIPPstl.org for more information DELUX MAGAZINE
OPEN HOUSE MARCH 19, 2016 1-4PM TO SCHEDULE A SHADOW OR TOUR CALL ADMISSIONS (314) 446-5524
APPLY ONLINE FOR THE 2016-2017 ACADEMIC SCHOOL YEAR
Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School thanks the sponsors of the Leon C. Henderson Scholarship Fund & Joe Wiley Society Night at the Black Rep. Your support and generosity made the event a huge success in providing essential scholarship and tuition assistance for deserving students.
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See Cricket Store or Authorized Dealer for more phones at great prices. $50 Bill Credit: Ltd. Time offer. Req’s porting elig. number (excl. ports from AT&T) & activ. on qual. plan in same transaction. New svc lines only. Basic phones excluded. Must be active & in good standing for 45 days. Credit is not redeemable for cash, has no cash value & is not transferable or refundable. Credit is forfeited if account is cancelled. Limit: 1 per qualifying line. Bring Your Own Phone: $9.99 Universal SIM Card Kit & unlocked, GSM-compatible smartphone req’d. Offer subject to change & may be terminated at any time without notice. Unlimited Plan: Incl. talk, text & data. Mobile Hotspot feature not avail. Download speeds max of 8Mbps (LTE)/4Mbps(4G). Activ./upgrade (up to $25) & add’l fees & restr’s apply. Pricing, avail., terms & data usage & speed & other restr’s subject to change w/o notice. Coverage not avail. everywhere. Auto Pay: First mo. $70. $5 credit applied upon enrollment in auto pay. See store for details. ©2016 Cricket Wireless LLC. All rights reserved.
46 November | December 2015 www.DeluxMag.com
What is the long-term potential of the market you are wanting to move to? Most people want to move to a neighborhood that is on the upswing and therefore, expect prices to rise. Speak to a knowledgeable real estate professional like Wade Weistreich from Keller Williams to identify some of the drivers of great neighborhoods. Wade says, “The biggest factor in the market is still the school districts.” But, there are also a few other things to consider when identifying upand-coming areas, like the nearby developments and proximity to entertainment and shopping.
Financial planning 101 says that it is better to buy a home than to rent and for 40 years that has been the conventional wisdom. Today, however, many millennials are finding out that that is not always the case. In fact, renting can be the smartest financial decision you can make. There are numerous things that someone should consider before making the choice to whether buy or rent, and some are not as clear-cut as others. The first thing to understand is that the financial crisis finally dispelled the myth that purchasing a home is always a great investment. Even if someone were only planning to live in a location for a period of two or three years, it was commonly accepted that you should buy a home, because you would be able to turn around and sell it at a profit. The truth has been hard learned, but house prices do not always go up! Therefore, you should not treat a home purchase as an investment from which you will get a financial return. The very long-term history of house prices show that over the past 100 years they have risen at roughly the rate of inflation. If you add in maintenance costs, this return is even less.
RENT OR BUY
IN TODAY’S REAL ESTATE MARKET Courtest of Midland States Bank
Renting, on the other hand, gives you flexibility. For instance, you do not typically have to pay for major maintenance like replacing water heaters, cleaning the furnace, and other costs that weigh on homeowners. Also when renting, you do not have a very large asset which needs to be sold in the case you need to move suddenly.
All this does not mean that buying a home is a bad idea; it just means you need to be smart about it. Here are the questions you need to ask before making the choice. What is my time-frame in this location? If you have a job where your odds of relocation are high, or if you may be moving jobs within a few years, renting is probably your best bet. Can I afford the house I really want? If you’re finances are such that the home you can afford with a 20% down-payment, monthly mortgage payments, and maintenance costs is substantially below what you want to live in long-term, it may be better to wait and rent. Continue saving instead of settling. What is the true cost-benefit comparison? Be sure when doing a cost-benefit analysis to include realistic maintenance costs, real-estate taxes, and a cost for selling. What kind of interest rate can you get on a mortgage? This will depend on market interest rates and your credit worthiness.
Does the neighborhood match your lifestyle? When looking to buy a house, you should not rely on financial considerations alone. Wade agrees. “Make sure you find a neighborhood that can fit your lifestyle. You will get more enjoyment out of a house in a great neighborhood than you will if you stretch for a bigger house in a neighborhood that does not fit your speed.” For instance, he says that if you are a single professional that enjoys the evening scene, you may not want to move to a quiet family neighborhood far removed from all the popular night spots.
So should you buy, rent in today’s market? The answer is that it depends on a number of factors. Just remember that renting is great option for people that want the flexibility to move anytime and do not want the hassles of being a home owner. Right now, the markets are moving and prices are starting to rise in many areas. With interest rates low, and prices rebounding, it could be a great time to buy. Ultimately, however, the timing of the real-estate market should play a secondary role in your decision; after you evaluate your personal situation first. Buying a home can be a great option for people who are looking for a longterm place to live, in a community that fits their needs. The bottom-line is that you should do your homework, be smart, and talk to finance and realestate experts to give you advice along the way. The American dream is still alive in the Midwest. These days, you do not necessarily need to be a homeowner to achieve it. Keith J. Akre, CFA, CFP® Midland States Bank About the Author: Keith has been a portfolio manager for Midland States Bank for the past three years working with families and individuals managing investments, constructing financial plans, and advising on all aspects of wealth management. He also works as an adjunct professor of finance and investments at Rockford University teaching in the accelerated Bachelors program. Prior to working at Midland States Bank, he worked in a similar role for a trust company in Chicago. He has his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree and currently holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designations. DELUX MAGAZINE
Words by: Ebonie Young
Photo by: Google Services
BLACK in Effect! Featuring Black Owned Businesses Building St. Louis
Here at DELUX Magazine we believe small business is an important part to the growth, stability, and well-being of the community. Not only does DELUX celebrate the St. Louis Small Business we also want to highlight small business within our own community and help provide options to circulate the Black dollar within the Black community. We have created this page to help promote the awareness of new/old minority owned businesses in the city we have all grown to love St. Louis! Be Bold. Be Innovative. Be DELUX.
Elevated Men’s Salon
Where can you find house-made vegan burgers, sandwiches named after famous African American heroes, beautiful installations of black art illustrating life, a sense of community AND baking classes that cater to different skill levels? SweetArt, that’s where! Nestled in south St. Louis, the family-owned bakeshop, café and art studio is owned and operated by the dynamic duo, Reine (the sweet) and Cbabi (the art) Bayoc. Since opening their doors in 2008, SweetArt has worked to support and empower their community by sourcing many of their ingredients and equipment from other locallyowned businesses.
After reflecting on the impact that barber shops used to have on men in the community, Carla Reid noticed that the current generation of young men were missing a sense of community. She realized that barbers not only provided fresh haircuts but also counseling and self-esteem building for the men and boys that visited their shops. Aiming to rekindle that barber family atmosphere with an urban and trendy twist, Carla opened the Elevated Men’s Salon in 2012. With a mission to ELEVATE, strengthen and empower men while making them look good, Elevated, emerged as a full service grooming salon for men specializing in razor shaves, razor linings and hot towel treatments. They also offer manicures, pedicures and facials for the complete grooming experience.
SweetArt is truly one of the most unique eateries/ art studios that you will find in St. Louis. As if the amazing food, most of which have a vegan or vegetarian base, wasn’t amazing enough. The atmosphere at Sweetart is an experience all its own. The combination of eclectic décor and Cbabi’s artwork adorning each wall in the space are a sight for sore eyes. The family style seating adds to the ambiance and is very conducive to the SweetArt theme of community and togetherness. With eight years under their belt, the couple shows no signs of slowing down. If you have a genuine love for people, food, and art like Reine and Cbabi, I dare you to visit SweetArt. Enjoy and have a red velvet cupcake for me.
Determined to establish Elevated Men’s Salon as a champion for men and boys, Carla implemented t h e Elevated Man of the Month to help shine light on and reward men doing good work in the community. The salon has also partnered with other local organizations to collect food and toiletries for pantries in Ferguson. If you know a man who needs pampering and a little elevation, send him to the Elevated Men’s Salon located on 1330 Aubert Ave., Ste. 101, St. Louis, MO 63113.
SweetArt is located on 2203 S. 39th Street, St. Louis, MO 63110
Want your business or service listed in DELUX? email CurateSTL@Deluxmag.com
48 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
Locs Of Glory
Tameka Stigers was determined to become a doctor. Eager to deliver babies like Cliff Huxtable, Tameka attended Southeast Missouri State and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Biology. She was well on her way to accomplishing her goals when she returned home from school and started helping raise her four siblings. During this pivotal point in her life, Tameka began to realize that medicine wasn’t her passion after all. Despite her doubts, she went on to graduate from St. Louis University with a Master’s in Public Health. After graduation she interviewed for a few positions in the medical field but had no luck so she decided to braid hair to earn money.
During their first date, her now ex-fiancé inquired about her hobbies. Tennille shyly replied that she used to crochet. He excitedly requested a crocheted hat and the rest was history! A decade and 15,000 crocheted pieces later, Tennille Forrest is at the height of her crocheting game with several original patterns, patents galore, an online store and a supportive clientele that buys out her inventory and encourages her to create more pieces.
Unlike many of us, Tameka did not have to seek out her career it actually found her. She attended a mixed church with a large population of white parents with black children. The parents would see her work and ask her to braid their children’s hair. In 1999, Tameka began doing hair full time at home in her basement and the rest is history. She decided to expand her skillset to include locing services and in June 2014, Tameka opened the doors to Locs of Glory, a full service salon that specializes in creating and maintaining sister locs. The salon employees a total of six certified locing consultants and is the first salon in St. Louis to specialize in the niche market of sister locs. All of the products used at the shop are created using natural ingredients and are sourced from Sweet Heads Natural, another local business in the city. Each of the stylists at Locs of Glory take pride in their work and aim to serve and build relationships with their clients. Tameka is happy with her decision to become an entrepreneur. In many ways she is still a doctor as she intends to use this opportunity as a platform to educate the black community on how to heal and grow their hair using natural methods of maintenance instead of chemical alterations. To get your locs and fros glorified, visit Tameka and her team at 5860 Delmar Blvd., Suite 100 in St. Louis, MO 63112.
Tennille began crocheting as a little girl. It was a hobby that she’d forgotten about until that date. She was nervous to deliver the piece because she had only created one hat prior to his request. However, Tennille soon realized that crocheting was much like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget how to do it. Creating that one hat grew into making one hat a month, then into one hat a week, one hat a day and pretty soon one hat an hour. She ditched the premade patterns, began developing her own, expanded her items to include head wraps and earrings and launched her crochet business, Makeeda Yohari in 2008. Named after her faith, Tennille chose the name for its Hebrew origin and meaning “Yah’s Precious Jewel”. Natural haircare was still an underground scene at that time but news spread like wildfire. Tennille started using natural friendly yarns to create her head pieces and hair accessories to protect the hair from the otherwise damaging effects of cotton on the ends and edges of kinky and curly hair textures. To help publicize the brand, she began wearing her products and selling them at local flea markets, craft shows and at a vendor expos that used to be held in the Delmar Loop. Excited to further reach her audience, Tennille created a page on Etsy.com and soon learned that e-commerce was an even better way to display her items to those across the country. Over the past several years, Makeeda Yohari has remained true to its meaning and mission, sending precious jewels of hand crafted crotchet items created using Tennille’s unique patterns, positive energy and love. To view the Makeeda Yohari collection of unisex hats, earrings, head wraps, hair accessories and crocheted jewelry, visit the online store at www.makeedayoharicrotchet. etsy.com or stop by the booth at this year’s African Arts Festival in Forest Park during Memorial Day weekend.
purple reign have found comfort it that. Regardless the album that accompanied the film “Parade”, showed so much growth in his already advanced sound. Now heavier orchestral accompaniment was brought in to accent his interesting soundscapes. With songs like “Kiss”, “Mountains” and “I Wonder U” the album was off and running. Not gonna talk about how the lack of love for UTCM film lead to Prince only doing the Parade Tour in Europe. After that album he started working on his next album “The Dream Factory”, with co-written pieces by Wendy and Lisa. This is when everything starts to change forever (Think about it). Prince dissolved The Revolution during the creation of that album, so he decided to add the songs to a triple LP entitled Crystal Ball. In my opinion due to the response of UTCM, the higher ups told him that may not be such a hot idea. So compromise is what gave us “Sign o’ The Times”, the Double LP he put out instead. The concert movie that followed that album received critical acclaim, but that first big “NO” after the Purple Rain hot streak was only the tip of the iceberg before butting heads turned to irreconcilable differences when Prince separated himself from the only label home he’s ever known.
ou know that moment when someone famous passes, and even though you don’t know them personally, you’re devastated? Yeah, that was me when I was told the news that my idol, Prince, died in his home at the young age of 57. Damn shame. And I mean that from the bottom of my soul. Immediately, on the news, I began to see allegations of some form of pill abuse. Let’s get that ridiculousness out of this conversation from jump. We are talking about a man who recorded music daily, while rehearsing the band he leads, while shooting videos, while touring across the planet year round, while doing dance routines, while doing his spiritual work, while producing and writing for other bands, while stockpiling a catalog, all while wearing high heels, for 40 years straight. This man changed the world so many times it’s kinda hard to count. From when he first was considered a little Stevie Wonder at 17 because of his approach with synthesizers, to shocking audiences globally by humping guitars on stage wearing only a neckerchief and bikini bottoms (not to mention the handlebar mustache as well). Not only did he shine by himself, but he had enough shine to share. He basically put ALL of his childhood friends on. Like, all of them. He transformed Minneapolis from “the birthplace of Bob Dylan” to “Birthplace of Prince:Creator of the Minneapolis Sound”. He gave his city it’s sound. He took bands that he knew and had worked with like The Time and got them a deal through his production company Paisley Park. He wrote and produced their entire self titled debut album. Gave us songs like “Get It Up” , “Cool”, and “Girl”. Later created their hits “Jungle Love” “The Bird”, “777-9311” and plenty more. Also created some groups, like Vanity 6 (RIP Vanity) with hits like “Nasty Girl” “Drive Me Wild”. When Prince went their separate ways, 50 May |and June Vanity 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
he replaced her with Apollonia Kotero to form Apollonia 6 with hits like “Sex Shooter” “A Million Miles”,and “Blue Limousine”. Sheila E eventually became the female equivalent of Prince, looking at her and her bands attire at the time. Songs like “Glamorous Life”, and “Romance 1600”, and “Love Bizarre” are just a few records that Prince (known as Jamie Starr of The Starr Company when ghostwriting) would help bring to life. Did you know Prince gave Carmen Electra her name?!? Yeah she was signed to Prince at some point. Random, right? Yup, he had Mazerati, Jill Jones, and The Family (which had Susannah Melvoin, the twin sister of Wendy Melvoin, Prince’s guitarist and writing partner in The Revolution). I mean Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (former The Time musicians) helped Janet Jackson (Rhythm Nation) build her singing career off of “The Minneapolis Sound”, being her producers. Chaka Khan’s classic hit song “I Feel For You” is a cover of Prince. So is Cyndi Lauper’s “When You Were Mine”, Alicia Keys’ “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore” and Sinead O’ Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Haven’t mentioned the songs he ghost wrote like The Bangles “Manic Monday”, Patti Labelle’s “Yo Mister”, Madonna’s “Love Song”, and so on, and so on. Then he basically wrote a movie loosely based on his life in a notebook and called it “Purple Rain”. Him being a focal point in the music industry machine at Warner Bros, every idea he had at the time was bankrolled. Smart on their part. But you all know the purple rain part of the story. Let’s talk about after that, when he decided to direct the next movie, Under The Cherry Moon, himself. A black and white noir-esque rom-com musical with a pseudo tragic/happy ending. It did not get the rave reviews, critical acclaim or Oscar wins that its predecessor received. Only because people expect to only see you one way, once they
I’m skipping some stuff here: The Legendary Black Album, doing albums with/for his heroes Miles Davis & George Clinton, starting of New Power Soul which became The New Power Generation, which once Prince started selling albums independently online under NPG Music Club (Pioneer of online music sales) he knew it was a stepping stone to selling an album with every concert ticket, later in the future (Genius). Once he cut out the middle man, he became a tad more reclusive. He found his faith again (Jehovah Witness) after the loss of his newborn son with then wife, Mayte. After that, it’s been silent good deeds, more stockpiling of catalog, and mentoring people like Lenny Kravitz. You all know that he has a vault full of thousands of songs, a cornucopia of music videos/shorts, almost every concert recorded and shot, and also a few movies to boot. The news said he didn’t leave a will. I think of his vault and say, “Are you people stupid?!?”. What do you think the vault is for? WHO do you think the vault is for?!? It’s for us. The people that enjoyed him for his skill set, the people who appreciated him for his devil may care attitude, the people who loved him for speaking up for them. I know, I know, legal mumbo jumbo; no one knows what goes where, and the estate is figuring it out. Bottom line is that Prince gave us all of him. More than most men are willing to give of themselves, especially in public. He should make James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Little Richard, & David Bowie all proud; because for me he’s all of them rolled in one person. Written/recorded/mixed/performed by the man himself. Sometimes it snows in April, indeed. People used to say did MJ or Prince win for greatest of all time. I tell people “ Michael named both of his sons Prince Michael Jackson. Who do you think?!?” Jk; sorta. Rest in Perfection, sir. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING.
Words by: Rockwell Knuckles Photo: Google Services
Don’t take it out of Context:
A HERMENEUTIC OF HIP HOP Words by: Alexy Irving
DJ Nappy Needles can be spotted just about every weekend playing a wide range of local Hip-Hop at all his events. His radio show, The Joint: New Rap Alternative, features artist who have dropped thought provoking tracks that make St. Louis stand up and support their own. As well known as DJ Nappy needles is to the St. Louis Hip-Hop community, we also have a hand full of artist that make their way around the music scene. Most of the time their lyrics are taken out of context no matter how much reasoning the artist puts into it or how much dancing the track sees when spun at events. To truly understand a rapper’s verbiage, you have to dive deeper into the verse and grasp it for its hermeneutic interpretation. That’s the issue with Hip-Hop these days, no one really listens to what the verses are speaking of or the message that is meant. We hear the hook, catch the rhythmic beat and assume the meaning. We then spread the propaganda of what we think it means out to our fellow Hip-Hop heads, and its all down hill from there. Take these artist’s and their lyrics for example: One of my favorite artist to spark up controversy is St. Louis native, Prince EA. On his track from 2014, Why I Think This World Should End, EA says, “Race is still an issue and so is religion. Your God doesn’t exist, my God does and he is All-Loving. If you disagree with me, I’ll kill you.” In a dawn where the current aspect of religion is so complex and misunderstood, this verse hits home. With having no knowledge about what religion Prince EA is, you assume he is some sort of terrorist. That assumption taking his word out of context based on the propaganda spread in today’s society about terrorism.
potential issue, your assuming every member of the hood is the same and taking his message out of context. Another verse that has the potential to spark controversy, but may get taken out of context comes from the week five, Message to Macklemore, off Tef Poe’s 52-week rap freestyle challenge. “Every rapper spitting lines about Ferguson but only a few of us was there when n*ggas started burning shi*t.” In this verse, one would take it as a direct shot towards local rappers who speak on the negative repercussions that occurred following the nonindictment of Mike Brown’s shooter. A message that could easily be misconstrued as a direct hate for any rapper in St. Louis trying to claim their involvement in the act but as we all know; a shot is never received by the person it is intended for. Although each rapper has their own reasoning behind the lyrics and a deeper message than what appears on the outskirts of the lyrics, take some time out to think before you spread propaganda about Hip-Hop. If you’re an artist, make sure your lyrics have meaning before you try to reap publicity for an outlandish verse. Many times an artist is judged too quickly off of the context their messages lie in, and it should be our duty to delve deeper into the hermeneutic of Hip-Hop.
J’Demul hits the hood’s dilemma on the nail with his verse off his track, “University Street”. “Conditioned to be a killer. Blame it on money. Money my problem. So for the money, my resolution is violence.” This verse heeding light to the idea that the only thing the hood is good for is producing individuals who would kill for money. Aside from this being a DELUX MAGAZINE
“ I am in my own lane”, says local St.Louis fashion sensation Sherrell Hall, and from the looks of her Old Hollywood inspired studio one can tell where she gets her creative inspirations from, for her fashion label, Leola Sky. It’s like a behind the scenes first look at how Leola Sky was created..... vibrant fabrics of gold and magenta pieces here and there, cutting shears and an old fashioned sewing machine. With a beautiful chandelier illuminating each and every sequence and feather on her dresses. Yasss! Slay Ms. Sherrell, you are giving me Harlem Nights meets the millennium life. Mastering her skills and talents from when she was just a young girl, she would re-vamp clothes from second hand shops and thus behold we have Leola Sky. Named after her great-grandmother Leola and Sky representing the old saying “the sky is the limit” with talents like hers Sherrell Hall will go beyond the stars.
“LEOLA SKY IS CONTEMPORARY GLAM FOR THE EMPOWERED WOMAN, SHE IS FEARLESS AND FABULOUS,”
SHERRELL HALL Fashion Designer
Words by:Ashley W. Photo: McArthur25
52 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
basically any place where their is a gathering of people. People watching can be very therapeutic and have an influence for her next design. She likes the idea of having her visions of art on someone else, without any customer manipulation. This is why Sherrell does collections, she sends her designs to the manufacture. As harsh as that may sound, having this attitude is why her designs are so sought after, she is in full control of her creative vision. But designing clothes aren’t Sherrell’s only talents, mentoring young women is something she is also passionate about, guiding them to open their minds to see within themselves who they really are, she believes this is what Leola Sky does, her designs allows women to become someone else. Up next for Leola Sky... Fall St. Louis Fashion Week, a documentary on the St. Louis fashion scene called “Fashion Unplugged”, and also ghost designing for celebrity designers. Fashion that speaks to the 1920’s flapper girl wearing bedazzled head pieces and long pearl necklaces has made its way back to 2016, and Leola Sky is paving the way. Model 1: Yahure’ Tucker Model 2: Zaria McDonald
Hair-stylist/Interior Designer: Chatwaka Jackson Her signature emerald green fringe dress will make you feel like “Shug Make-up artist: Brittney Daniel Avery” from the Color Purple ready to sing in front of a packed house at the Juke Joint. Her infatuation with the 1920’s fashion sets her a part from other designers, she loves the quality of how clothes were made back then. Rather having quality over quantity this helps her keep an outstanding work ethic and love of the design in tact. The idea of producing something wonderful she says is worth more to her. Besides old movies Sherrell also find inspirations in places like vintage shops, the Botanical Gardens, Lambert St. Louis Airport,
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Photographer Lawrence Bryant
54 November | December 2015 www.DeluxMag.com
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Wedding Planners Photographers AR EVENT PLANNING 1113 Wooden Dr., Florissant, 773-457-1852 www. mydivineevents.com
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Getting reacquainted with our Mother Words by: Dionne Ferguson She is called Mother Africa. We are her children. Africa experienced the joy of birthing humanity and civilization, and the pain of denied recognition, respect and love. Yet she remains steadfast, reminding us of our humanity, and calling us home. Twenty years ago, I answered. I traveled to Lesotho, a country surrounded by South Africa, to drill wells with rural communities. Lesotho is small and mighty, appropriately called the Mountain Kingdom. The kingdom formed in the 1800s, led by King Moshoeshoe I, who built a stronghold to fight off enemies. He and his people lived on top of Thaba Bosiu, Mountain of the Night. Moshoeshoe I and his people used their intelligence, creativity and natural environment to maintain their culture and independence. I arrived in Lesotho one month after the presidential election of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. It was impossible to enter or leave Lesotho without traveling through South Africa. It was an incredible time to live with people who embraced a return to the humanity, respect and love they knew was Mother Africa. Ten years later, I moved to South Africa. The diversity of South African people, cultures and environments was amazing to experience. South Africa is the history of the Khoikhoi, Zulu, Ndebele and Xhosa people. It is apartheid, resistance to it, and overcoming it. It is a country with 11 official languages. It is snow in the Drakensberg mountains, penguins on Cape coastal beaches and jacarandas in Pretoria. South Africa is Johannesburg’s fashion malls, gold mines, and Soweto, the largest Black township. Soweto, established to house African miners away from white citizens, later became the only place in the world with two Nobel Peace Prize winners on the same block – Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Nelson Mandela. Soweto, the Hector Peterson Museum detailing the deaths and triumphs of the student uprising of 1976, Robben Island where Mandela and other freedom fighters were imprisoned, and Kruger National Park are some of the places Good Journey, the youth leadership organization I founded, took young leaders during an educational tour in 2014. I lived in three southern African countries, and traveled throughout Africa. I saw 100 year old, 440 pound turtles roaming Changuu Island, Zanzibar, also called Prison Island where enslaved Africans were imprisoned. I relaxed on white sand beaches and waded in a blue tinted Indian Ocean on Mozambique’s coast. I walked through narrow streets in Old Town Medina in Morocco, joining people handling daily transactions. I road public transportation from Cape Coast to Accra, Ghana with people heading to visit family with live chickens strapped onboard. I spent my birthday in Senegal dancing at a reggae concert while
graffiti artists created live art on stage. In Senegal, art is life. Leopold Sedar Senghor, the first president, was a poet and philosopher. Following independence from France in 1960, President Senghor established a system for African art education, creation and exhibition, free from colonial influence. Art became a necessary means of expression, an instrument of revolution and symbol of cultural identification and relevance. Visiting Senegal, I encountered beautiful women in political, educational and family roles, with dresses and headwraps made from strikingly patterned African fabric. Men stood tall in the market, bank, and homes, wearing matching dashikis, pants and kufi. In Saint Louis, Senegal, sister city to St. Louis, Missouri, I stood with children on tiptoes peering over the stadium wall, filled with fans of all ages, watching a national treasure, Senegalese wrestling. Senegalese wrestling pairs physical strength with artistry, and is rooted in African tradition. In Dakar, Senegal, I visited an artists’ compound, meeting painters and glass and metal artists, each with personal studio space. In the last studio in the far left corner of the compound, I met Fola. Fola Lawson’s paintings, with bold colors and deep illustration of ancestral stories told to him as a child, spoke to me. A friendship was born, continuing via Skype and Facebook. I admired Fola’s passion for creating African art and he admired my passion for working with youth. Fola suggested we join our passions, and he visit the USA to teach Good Journey’s young people about West African art and culture. Answering the call home to Mother Africa demonstrates recognition of her greatness, respect for what she birthed and love for what she continues to teach us. Sharing her with others in ways that are humane, loving and inspirational is one of the greatest gifts a person can offer her in return. On May 19, 2016, Good Journey’s ART IN OUR WORLD exhibit opens with a reception from 6pm to 8pm at Exodus Gallery, 5075 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri 63108. It is an opportunity to meet and experience the art and culture of Fola Lawson and Papisco Kudzi, originally from Togo, West Africa. The free exhibit is open from May 19 through June 2, 2016 at Exodus Gallery.
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LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH
MY JOURNEY, MY HOPE, MY FIGHT Words by: Nikki Smith
It is more common than cystic fibrosis, leukemia, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anemia, and multiple sclerosis combined
through it all, I had an indomitable will to continue to fight, to find strength, press forward, and declare victory.
Women of color are three times more likely to be at risk than Caucasians
Speed Learning on Lupus*
More than 90% of sufferers are women, mostly young women between the ages of 15 to 44
What is it?
Its difficult to diagnose There is no cure For some, these are abstract statistics that could mirror any disease, likely some sort of cancer, that plagues our community. Little is known of this disease that literally causes your body to attack itself; causing not only unbearable pain, but sometimes fatal results. The month of May has been designated to give awareness to this autoimmune disease that effects more than 5 million people (mostly women) around the world. This month is Lupus Awareness Month. Only recently since being diagnosed in April of 2009 have I been compelled to be more open about something I have suffered in silence for so long. For a short while, after having a name be put to the aliments I had suffered with for several years, I felt handicapped by the disease. The pain, the sun, being tired all the time, and the looming fact that there isn’t a cure. But this isn’t a passage of misery, but rather one of hope and triumph. During the period of time that I was starting to feel sorry for myself and contemplating all the things I’ll never get to do, I came across this quote: “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”-- Mahatma Gandhi I dug deep, prayed hard, and spoke life into myself. Yes I was dealing with a very real illness, yes there were risks and times of pain, but my will to live a purposeful and victorious life far outweighed the desire to feel sorry for myself. Things began to turn around. I opened up to family and friends, I joined local support groups, I made lifestyle changes. The more I spoke about it, the more I came across friends who had a mother, sister, aunt, who also suffered from Lupus. that is when I realized, this fight was not my own. I share this with you, in hopes that we begin to educate ourselves about this chronic illness that effects so many in our community and that we also begin to encourage one another through whatever aliments we may be facing. I’ve been through three chemotherapy treatments, countless hospital visits, and times of uncertainty, all before the age of 26. But
58 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs (“foreign invaders,” like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues (“auto” means “self”) and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). Why does it sound similar to AIDS? Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive. Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot “catch” lupus from someone or “give” lupus to someone. What resources are available to learn more? Visit Lupus.org or contact the local chapter- Lupus Foundation of America, Heartland Chapter 4640 Shenandoah Avenue St. Louis, MO 63110-3422 info@LFAheartland.org (314) 644-2222 (800) 958-7876 *statistics retrieved from Lupus Foundation of America and Alliance for Lupus Research.
Mental Health in the Black Community
DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE: IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’RE BLACK OR WHITE
Words by Breanna Hall
Mental illness is something that is rarely, if ever, discussed within the black community. For far too long it has been considered “a white issue.” Recent discussion has brought to light and reiterated that mental illness is, in fact, not confined to one specific race, and is something that can deeply affect us all. Fortunately, this revived interest into the ins and outs of mental illness, segues into some much needed dialogue, and more importantly, healing. For far too long, black men and women have had to deal with the racial and economic pressures that come along with living in America. The drive to obtain success, coupled with the oppressive natures of our society, sometimes prove to be too heavy a load to bear. After a while, a person may become abnormally afraid, anxious, or withdrawn to the point where “venting” or “just breathing” no longer helps. The stigma behind mental illness is what prevents those who are affected from seeking help or even being aware of what the issue really is. In a community where most of us have been raised to be “strong,” the idea that we may be affected by mental illness leads us to believe that we are simply “weak-willed” or “lazy.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Mental illness can be triggered by a variety of things ranging from an injury, extreme trauma, substance abuse, or even your genetic makeup. Other obstacles like religion and privacy also keep those affected from realizing their issues and seeking help. I’m sure many of you can imagine someone you know saying, “Chile, ain’t nothing wrong with you,” “Maybe you should just pray,” or giving you the spiel about “airing your dirty laundry.” Messages like these serve as hindrances
for those living with mental illness and are too afraid, or ashamed, to address it. In most cases, once someone has realized the plight at hand, the resources and the much needed nudge towards healing can be hard to find. If you or someone you know struggles with mental health, there are options that are available. There are many medications that can help level the chemical imbalances in the brain that enable mental illness. If you’re like me, and are reluctant to trust medication, there are other options that you can look into. Many mental health blogs suggest practicing healthy eating, keeping a journal, and practicing yoga or some other form of physical exercise. Joining a support group and therapy are other options that allow for guided self-reflection and change. If someone you know trusts you enough to share that they may be dealing with mental illness, listen, and lend the support that they need. If you are reading this and believe that you are battling mental illness, please know that #1: you are not alone and #2: help is available. Mental illness should not be worn like a scarlet letter and it does not leave someone incapable of living a fulfilling life. The great thing about the dialogue surrounding mental health in the black community is that many people are becoming aware of it and are taking the necessary steps towards their mental and overall well-being.
䄀䈀伀唀吀 唀匀 刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 䄀挀愀搀攀洀礀 椀猀 愀 瀀爀漀最爀愀洀 搀攀猀椀最渀攀搀 昀漀爀 椀渀搀椀瘀椀搀甀愀氀猀 猀攀攀欀椀渀最 愀 栀椀最栀攀爀 氀攀瘀攀氀 漀昀 琀爀愀椀渀椀渀最 猀琀礀氀攀 愀渀搀 琀攀挀栀渀椀焀甀攀Ⰰ 愀 挀氀愀爀椀椀攀搀 甀渀搀攀爀猀琀愀渀搀椀渀最 漀昀 渀甀琀爀椀琀椀漀渀 愀渀搀 栀攀愀氀琀栀礀 栀愀戀椀琀猀 愀渀搀 猀甀挀挀攀猀猀昀甀氀 琀爀愀渀猀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀 漀渀 琀栀攀椀爀 琀渀攀猀猀 樀漀甀爀渀攀礀℀ 刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 䄀挀愀搀攀洀礀 挀漀渀猀椀猀琀 漀昀 攀洀瀀漀眀攀爀椀渀最 攀渀挀漀甀爀愀最攀洀攀渀琀Ⰰ 挀漀氀氀攀挀琀椀瘀攀 琀攀愀洀眀漀爀欀 ☀ 瀀攀爀猀椀猀琀攀渀挀攀⸀ 刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 猀琀爀椀瘀攀猀 琀栀爀漀甀最栀 猀攀爀椀漀甀猀 栀愀爀搀眀漀爀欀 愀氀漀渀最 眀椀琀栀 愀 搀爀椀瘀攀渀 攀û漀爀琀 漀昀 搀攀搀椀挀愀琀椀漀渀 琀漀 昀甀氀氀氀氀 漀甀爀 洀漀琀琀漀⸀⸀ 吀爀愀椀渀Ⰰ 䔀砀挀攀氀Ⰰ 匀甀挀挀攀攀搀⸀ 刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 挀愀渀 瀀爀漀瘀椀搀攀 琀栀攀 琀爀愀椀渀椀渀最 猀琀礀氀攀 愀渀搀 瀀爀漀昀攀猀猀椀漀渀愀氀猀 琀漀 栀攀氀瀀 愀挀挀漀洀瀀氀椀猀栀 礀漀甀爀 猀攀琀 最漀愀氀猀℀ 刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 䄀挀愀搀攀洀礀 爀攀瀀爀攀猀攀渀琀猀 猀琀爀攀渀最琀栀Ⰰ 猀漀氀椀搀愀爀椀琀礀 愀渀搀 愀 甀渀椀椀攀搀 洀椀渀搀 猀攀琀 漀昀 愀挀挀漀洀瀀氀椀猀栀椀渀最 最漀愀氀猀 昀漀爀 愀渀礀 爀猀琀 琀椀洀攀爀 漀爀 琀渀攀猀猀 樀甀渀欀椀攀
䌀漀渀琀愀挀琀 唀猀 一漀眀℀
刀伀儀䈀伀䐀夀 䄀䌀䄀䐀䔀䴀夀 㜀㜀㈀ 䤀渀搀椀愀渀 䠀攀愀搀 䤀渀搀甀猀琀爀椀愀氀 䈀氀瘀搀 匀琀⸀ 䰀漀甀椀猀Ⰰ 䴀伀 㘀㌀㌀㈀
62 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
WE GOT SOUL:
GOURMET SOUL Words by: Ashley W. // Photo by: Mena Darre
Located in the heartbeat of downtown St. Louis, Gourmet Soul offers you your grandma’s down-south mouth watering cooking, while adding the sophistication of big cities like New York, London, or even France in this cute, cozy and stylish restaurant. Serving dishes like Lamb Stew, Osso Buco, and Peach Pie, one would have to be crazy to pass this food up. With a solid foundation built on impeccable service and dynamic food, while offering Saturday brunch every first Saturday of the month, St. Louis has a new soul-food go to. Introducing Gourmet Soul and co-owner Lavinia McCoy! Delux Magazine: What is Gourmet Soul?
DM: Why this part of downtown St. Louis?
Lavinia McCoy: Gourmet Soul is food that is as delicious as the soul can consume.
LM: We’re trying to keep the momentum of this area going, their is a lot of new development in this area, and I want Gourmet Soul to be a part of that. Plus I like to believe this area chose me, it was destiny.
Being a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Livinia sure has what it takes to make her signature dishes sparkle. “Gourmet Soul is a little bit of soul, and a little bit of gourmet,” she adds. After catering to adult day cares 3-7 times a week Lavinia thought it would be a great idea to open as a restaurant. DM: Who are your cooking inspirations? LM: My cooking inspirations come from my grandmother and watching Julia Child on TV. I like how we have all these cooking shows on TV now it means people are recognizing cooking as an art. DM: What sets your menu a part from others in the St. Louis region? LM: Soul-food is soul-food and gourmet is all about the presentation, it’s all about how you present the dish, it’s the visual that makes it gourmet. Her chicken and waffle entree is something like I’ve never seen before, she took the ordinary chicken and waffle and created a fancier version of it. Something you wouldn’t expect. Remember folks it’s not just about the taste but the presentation.
DM: What is your favorite entree on the menu? LM: I would have to say the shrimp and grits, see I add my own secret special ingredient. Lavinia is not giving up the goods so you’ll just have to high-tail down to Gourmet Soul, and see what the fuss is about those shrimp and grits. DM: What type of experience should customers expect from Gourmet Soul? LM: I want people to feel at home when they come to Gourmet Soul. I want them to feel relaxed while enjoying some great food and good wine. I want them to feel safe and welcomed. I’m hoping Gourmet Soul will reach celebrities, like when the R. Kellys’ come I want them to come to Gourmet Soul and eat. Gourmet Soul is not just a restaurant, but also a platform where local artist can come and showcase their work. Artist like Ellis Outlaw has a few pieces hanging on the walls adding to the already spectacular decor. For more Gourmet Soul run down to 1620 Delmar Blvd., and tell them the folks at Delux sent you!
64 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
who got next
STELLA LOISIR’S New Faces of 2016 Words by: Gabriel Garmon
Parents, supporters, and designers filled the Polish Heritage Center for an epic night of FASHION. New Faces 2016 was an evening of Fashion Food and Fun Children from age range of 5-14 Sponsored by Stella Loisir and Delux magazine, we were very honored by the presence of Recording artist Penelope Jones and her non-for profit org.HIP-C, which gave Clothing and other gifts to 3 chosen inner city youth. The event coordinated by St. Louis’s own Michael Jones, Jermell Keys, and Rochelle Harmon. As 6pm approached, music and spoken word invited guests setting the ambiance for a breathtaking night. Introducing and hosting, Jordan and DJ Wilson warmed the audience with a few crowd participation chants. Thanks to our 3 Divas Samiyah Love, Rocky, and NJoy, these talented young ladies opened the show. Also Samiyah is a designer/model she makes her own Glasses at the tender age of ten. 5 designers: Phyllis the DressCode, KEEDIE LO, Cem Designs, Cristo, and MODHA, prepped their youthful models to own the runway. In which each model definitely did. Judges Ro Chanel, Sheridan Young, Lexi Shanklin, Kathy Kirkman, and director for Ms. Universe and former contestant, Kyria Virshelle were left speechless as charisma and confidence graced the catwalk. With special musical guests and performances including Pointe of Surrender Dance Studio, showcased how talented our youth truly are. Many awards and recognition were presented including Best Walk. Winner Desharia Wilkes showed the crowd why she owned that category by giving a flawless spin and a twist as the worked the runway one last time to receive her trophy. Nyce Williams, as suave as he can be, won the Best Male Model. London Baker wearing designer, Keedie Lo was crowned as Best Female/Designer of the evening and deemed Designer of the Year. Special congratulations to Montie Christoe for winning for best Male Design. Stella Loisir’s New Faces of 2016 was a complete success and definitely an event to look for each year. Delux Magazine will be featuring the winner of Stella Loisir’s New Faces in a fashion spread nexr edition.
66 May | June 2016 www.DeluxMag.com
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68 November | December 2015 www.DeluxMag.com