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PHILADELPHIA

March/April 2021 Vol. 1 Issue 1 FREE

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A Single Suggestion Philadelphia - March/April 2021

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Your Purpose Is Not A Laughing Matter A Letter From The Editor A long time ago, when I was a much younger man, and a student at the most prestigious high school in the city of Greensboro, something happened to me that would change my life forever. This segment of time was during my fourth period English class, and the first week of a new schoolAyear. Letter from the Editor

There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!

Back then I was mischievous, very sarcastic, and a self-proclaimed ‘class clown’. I would try to setdidn’t the tone for my amongst my What if tomorrow arrive? Allclassroom of your plans, hopes classmates with jokes, and I thought, the bigger the audience, the grander and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if my performance in this class, the teacher everythingcould thatbe. youHowever, decided to putparticular off until tomorrow never was a formidable opponent. She was short in stature, very elegant and full happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy of finesse, and seemed to lock in on me like a torpedo before the tardy bell day, and you could spare someone the trouble of making even sounded. Her name was Mrs. Kerr, and I would soon learn that she if your last opportunity seemingly expired wasn’tpromises. one to playWhat around.

today? What would you do?

One day while in English class, I began to get comfortable and execute been told that often like and I doatoo much. my form ofI’ve cheap humor. I ledI off withseem a cough, slight sneeze; silly Honestly, I feel like I amwell notwith doing enough and I’m ainto firmposition. acts that usually worked pretty getting my audience But mybeliever act was snuffed out immediately. “Don’t put you anything sneeze oron cough in knowing that God wouldn’t me in my. Take that outside”. Those were the words spoken directly to me that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life wouldand I knew she was serious Kerr what stareditinto my eyes.toFrom be if I chose toby sitthe idleway andMrs. accept presented me. that I point on, I never laughed in her class unless I was led by her permission to have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity do so. is I must admit that my ego was a little bruised, but I would eventually a blessing that isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge get over it.

to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn In so many words, she helped me to understand my purpose in no something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in laughing matter. I genuinely appreciate Mrs. Kerr. She helped me to return acquire understand the Englishlife. instruction she provided was not a laughing matter, and I or anyone else wouldn’t prevent the learning and growth of other students.The best advice ever given to me happened when someone

told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so I have pressed my way through a keytothat only As the school year progressed, I begandoors to lookwith forward my fourth period hope English class and Ispending time with Mrs. I soaked up every bit provided. have also learned the Kerr. difference between of information that she had towith offer,and studied poem, and recited them what God blesses me whatevery life can burden me with back to her withto precision, and made as well. I compare it to knowing when be confident and it a point to show her that she changed when to be quiet, becausemy life by stopping me may fromget robbing myself of someone it confused sound instruction. with being arrogant. Mrs. Kerr obviously loved me and Make you tomorrow her other students, thousands of them happen today, butdecades most of she encountered for several make it count. teaching.importantly She is my hero. Students like me Life is but a whisper and all deserve a hero such as Mrs. Kerr in their we either must put ourselves a or classrooms, in the form of ainpeer instructor. She helped mewhat to understand position to hear it is that my purpose was no laughing matter. telling us.

www.huamimagazine.com Terry L. Watson

Publisher

www.huamimagazine.com Teyah Glenn Editor In Chief Writer Terry L. Watson Writer Terry L. Watson Alana Allen Dr. Marrisa Dick - Deputy Editor Writer Dorjae’ McClammey Writer Writers

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mykelmedia@yahoo.com (336) 340-7844 HUAMI MAGAZINE is published quarterly by the Mykel Media Company. Any reproduction of any portion of this publication is prohibited without written permission from the publisher prior to doing so. Mykel Media doesn’t accept responsibility for statements made by individuals featured or advertisers. Comments concerning this publication Greensboro, NC may be submitted to the editor by 2021 All Rights Reserved E-mail at terrywatson@huamimagazine.com terry.editor@yahoo.com or to Mykel Media Company, LLC P.O. Box 20102 Greensboro, NC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE 2014 All Rights Reserved

Terry L. Watson 4

Terry L. Watson Editor/Founder

On The Cover

Photo by Shaw Photography Group


CONTENTS

MARCH/APRIL 2021

PHILADELPHIA EDITION

Craig D. Butler Foundation

Khadijah Butler

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On The Cover

A Single Suggestion Erika Burnett

Writing From Her Heart

Karena Washington

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Ramone Hemphill

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Brandon Emmitt

The 99th Squadron

Chef and Caterer

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Also Featured

Jay Maxwell He has a love for art. His weapon of choice is a can of spray paint. Greensboro, NC

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Sonya Molette Meet the founder of Elasticity Hair Care. Detroit, MI

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Railyn Bozeman She is the cutest, and has been selected as Huami Magazine’s Cutest Baby.

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A Single Suggestion 6


By Marrissa Dick Photos by Erika Burnett

Handmade, the word, is an adjective and it means not made by machine and typically of superior quality. Most handmade items are crafted in small studios or people’s own homes. Having something handmade affords you the opportunity to work directly with the artisan to customize your purchase. Because you are dealing directly with the artisans when you purchase handcrafted products, they might be open to tweaking certain aspects of their product specifically to fit your needs. Meet Erika Burnett, founder of A Single Suggestion, a one-of-a-kind handcrafted company where cards and stationery are made that puts a smile on the faces of many people and happy memories in their hearts. A Single Suggestion is a business located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that is dedicated to rekindling the lost art of handwritten notes. Erika shares here story, “When I first start working at the University of Pennsylvania, my former manager was making cards as a hobby. She took me to a card marking and I have been hooked ever since. I used most of my paychecks to buy supplies and sit at home on the weekends making cards for family and friends. I did that for 12 years just for fun. I had no idea I would ever start a business until I attended a networking event for women. My cousin encouraged me to go so when I got there and displayed my handcrafted cards everyone fell in love with them. I was told that I should have been in business a long time ago. I was humbled that people actually appreciated my work. Those women gave me all of the support I needed to get started. A business coach, accountant and mentor nurtured me with knowledge and information I needed to be successful in my business. My business opened its virtual doors six months later in June 2013.” You may be asking yourself, what is so exciting about a card when you can go to Hallmark and buy one. Erika shares, “My business is handmade stationary. I make one of a kind note cards. There are no sentiments on the inside, but the card itself, says it all. Because they are one of a kind, once a particular design is sold, I don’t remake it unless a customer happens to see it on my website and really wants something similar to it. I also carry handmade gift card holders, handmade bookmarks, journals, gift pens and gift sets. My online store contains over 400 stationary items and they are all one of a kind.You know when I first started working at the University of Pennsylvania my former manager was already making cards as a hobby. She offered to take me to class with her; I went and have been hooked ever since. I would buy my supplies and sit at home on the weekends and make cards for family and friends. I did that for 12 years just for fun. I didn’t know I would enjoy creating cards.”

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One reason people purchase handcrafted goods is because they like having something unique and they find satisfaction in knowing that having a handmade creation means that there are fewer of them on the market. When you make a purchase from A Single Suggestion, you are receiving a unique item. Erika only makes one-of-a-kind cards so that means that the purchaser of the card will be the only person with it or the recipient, of that card, will have something special. Of course, there are others who make cards by using computer programs but Erika’s cards are handmade down to the paper. She shares, “I cut the paper myself. I do all of the hand stamping using ink and rubber stamps, the old fashioned way. My cards are not mass produced and I don’t sell them wholesale. My cards and other stationery items are authentic and made with high quality products.” Often, Erika will receive solicitations from other merchants to carry her product in their stores, but she is adamant that her creations are not going to be mass produced. “I do want to see my cards and stationery in stores, but what I don’t want to do is lose the concept of the handmade component. Often times when you are picked up by a store, they begin mass producing your work and they want to change things. That’s not what I want to happen. I will turn something down if my cards don’t have the same personable affect.” For those consumers who appreciate one-of-a-kind designs, A Single Suggestion is especially for you. We all know that the pandemic has severely crippled socialization. Some people are suffering with depression because they are unable to see their family or very close friends. Erika understands that this season in America calls for creative

ways to share your love. For that reason, she created, Handwritten Love. She shares, “Every month, I send love to individuals through cards or letters. Life can be tough sometimes and not everyone has someone to show them love when they need it or give them a little inspiration when they’re thinking about giving up on their dreams or life in general. Everyone can use a kind word or two. I love to see people happy and if I can’t see them happy, I know they will be when they open the envelope and see that card in their hand. You know, God blessed me with all of this. He blessed me so I can be a blessing to someone else. Doing this work brings me peace and it relaxes me. In this day and time where everything is digital, we’ve lost touch with the social aspect of sitting down and having a conversation. The intimacy between personto-person communication is almost obsolete. My goal is to rekindle handwritten notes,” she says. If you are having an intimate gathering of not more than 25 guests and you want to impress them from the onset, then let Erika create beautifully handcrafted invitations especially for your occasion. Your guests won’t toss these cards away. You can see her many creations by going to www.asinglesuggestion.com and you can call Erika at (267) 702-3138 to speak with her about her designs. h

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“I cut the paper myself. I do all of the hand stamping. I use ink and rubber stamping the old-fashioned way. I color with markers, pencils, and crayons. I use watercolors and even bleach sometimes to get the affect I’m looking for. You won’t find my cards in a major store because they are one-of-a-kind handmade cards and stationery,”

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www.asinglesuggestion.com 11


Karena

Washington writing from my heart 12

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By Terry L. Watson Photos by Xmedia360 I am an educator, author, and someone who enjoys the serene moments life has to offer. A native of West Helena, AR, she graduated from Central High School in 2000. Next she enrolled at Central Arkansas, and received her undergraduate degree in business in 2007. With her academic accomplishments taken care of, she then worked with kids with special needs. “This had nothing to do with my degree in business, however caring for kids truly pulled at my heart, so much so that I decided to make a career of it,” she says. She then moved to Missouri in 2007, settling in the area of St Louis where she eventually learns of a school district whose sole purpose is to provide education and inclusion opportunities for kids with special needs. She got a job as a paraprofessional and the rest is history. She began working on her masters during the Fall of 2009 and graduated December 2012. Three months after receiving her Masters of Arts in Teaching, she was hired as a Special Education teacher. The Lost Coin is the first book that she has authored, to be specific she actually has co-authored this book along with others. The book makes reference to how women have lost something, who instead of seeking God, relied on thier intitution and direction for sellf fulfillment. Karena shares this decision didn’t make her situation any better, it actually made it worse. The other part of the book talks about losing her parents. “When you lose your parents, both of them, it makes you feel empty,” she says. While enduring this loss, someone came along, making her feel loved again, and provided her with a sense of family. This was far from what was about to happen. The person she thought was her saving grace would turn out to be a nightmare. She lost emotionally, Continued on the next page

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“My testimony is I learned that I am not out of reach. I don’t care how low you may feel, God will come and pull you out of it. God tried pulling me out so many times, but I refused to come along. Things didn’t change in my life until I decided to make a change.”

Pictured with Karena is her sister Kocysha LaShaun, who also co-authored on the book, The Lost Coin.

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and physically. “All of this happended because I wanted to be a part of something. I wanted to belong,” she says. Relief came in the form of abscense. The person she relied on was removed from her life. Things weren’t totally in order. She was living in a hotel. She was working three jobs, and going to school. In March 2013, she began to feel things were getting back in order. “The biggest message that I want to convey in the book is to let others know who may find themselves in a similar situation, they’re not alone. There has been so many who have traveled this path and survived. I survived and so can you,” she says. Karena says she is inspired by the impact of her life and testimony. “All that I endured happened for a reason. My pain was not in vain. I believe that others can be helped by learning of my struggle and my journey,” she says. “My testimony is I learned that I am not out of reach. I don’t care how low you may feel, God will come and pull you out of it. God had tried to pull me out so many times, but I refused to come along. Things didn’t change in my life until I decided to make a change,” she says. “It was a covering that protected me from going down the wrong path. It was nothing but His grace and His mercy that protected me from going down the wrong path,” she says. With all that Karena has endured, the loss of her parents and being trapped in an unhealthy relationship for years, she still smiles. It’s hard to take the joy from a person who has seen life at its darkest levels, losing on all fronts, and still hanging in the fight long enough to see God move. Her joy has been validated. The advice she offers to others who may follow in her footsteps as an author is to follow your heart. “Be authentic. Speak from your heart. Listen to your inner voice so that you are following the path that needs to be followed. This will ensure that you reach the people who need you the most. Stay real to yourself and understand that no one cares more for you than you do for yourself,” she says. It hasn’t been a smooth ride, but its the road that God prepared for her to travel. “Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything. Every part of this journey has taught me lessons that have not only been beneficial to me, but has helped others who I’ve crossed paths with,” she says. In the future, Karena plans to speak more rather than write, about her life experiences. However, she understands that it’s ultimately up to what God says. She understands this all to well, and as fate would have it, she is currently writing a childrens book. To learn more about Karena Washington, please purchase a copy of the book, The Lost Coin by visiting her website. h

karena@unabridgedsolutions.net thelostcoinap.com/karena (to purchase book)

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Craig D. Butler Scholarship Foundation

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By Gamal Williams Photo by CDB Scholarship Foundation Inc

How does one turn tragedy into legacy? When the Butler family experienced the tragic murder of her father, the question wasn’t first and foremost in Khadijah Butler’s mind. Craig Butler’s life was an inspiration to Khadijah. Her face lights up when speaking about him. “My father was a family man; he was the life of the party. He was big on having a moral compass, and how my sister and I were to be perceived in the world. He was also a very giving man. He was murdered when I was 19, shot in the groin by a 14-year-old boy over a dispute. Yet, in that short amount of time in my life, he dropped so many jewels on me,” she shares. The trial of her father’s murderer took a toll on Khadijah. “My first year at Temple University was tough. The trial was over the summer; it was on television and in the newspapers,” she says. She remembered her father’s lessons on education and fearlessness and stayed the course. After graduating summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (the study of the mechanics of body movements), the native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, saw herself working for her hometown team. “I initially wanted to be an athletic trainer for the Eagles! I thought it would be such a cool thing not only as a woman, but as an African-American woman,” she says. When Khadijah went to ply her craft, the hurdles necessary to break into the NFL as an athletic trainer left her a bit discouraged. “I had to decide and learn how do I pivot. Initially, I though about nursing, but then an old friend said ‘Why don’t you get into clinical research? You have such a big heart and already give back so much. That is an industry you don’t see us in,’” Khadijah says. The idea intrigued her. “I thought ‘Okay. I could still use my degree. I could still focus on science. I could be a part of a new medical treatment or medication that could help people, especially with what’s going on today with COVID-19. Plus, I saw that there wasn’t really a lot of African-American women in that field.” Undeterred and renewed, she decided to recommit herself to school and obtained her Master of Science in Management from Rosemont College. “I get my work ethic from my father, my fearlessness from him,” she shares. Khadijah accepted a position as a Project Data Manager for Clinical Research Organization, an opportunity that became extremely fulfilling for her. Yet, despite all of her success, Khadijah felt she could be doing more. It was then she remembered the life of someone that molded her into the strong, black woman she is today, her father.

“My father was a family man; he was the life of the party. He was big on having a moral compass, and how my sister and I were to be perceived in the world. He was also a very giving man.” Khadijah Butler Philadelphia - March/April 2021

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Khadijah wanted to honor her father’s memory while helping the youth of Philadelphia. “We all know the gun violence that occurs in Philly, the educational gaps that exist in America, and when I think of the 14-year-old boy, who is now a man and still in prison, I wondered how could I tie all of that together to honor him? I wanted to redirect our youth on education and not gun violence,” she says. In January 2020, Khadijah started the Craig D. Butler Scholarship Foundation with the goal of providing scholarships to deserving students. According to the Craig D. Butler Scholarship Foundation website, the CDB aims to aid young adults from under-served populations to pursue higher education. Each year, the CDB Scholarship Foundation will seek future high school graduates to offer financial support as they pursue their dreams in the aftermath of gun violence. The CDB Scholarship is an annual, meritbased competition, that focuses on instilling philanthropic values in ambitious, driven, goaloriented individuals. “I didn’t want to make the scholarship centered around what happened to my dad,” Khadijah explains, “but so many people became connected to my story. I decided if I was going to start a business, I wanted to do something to memorialize him. I toyed with the idea for years, then finally decided to just do it. I said, ‘This is the time!’ I wanted to do something to give back and build our family legacy,” she says.

www.craigdbutlerscholarship.com

Khadijah smiles now when she talks about her father, because it always leads to discussions of the CDB and how his legacy lives on. “It’s been twenty years since his death, and I miss him, but I am giving back to Philly and getting his name out there in a positive light through the scholarship,” she says. Hard work. Sound morals. Giving back. Principles that define who Craig D. Butler was as a man, husband, and father, and now his legacy lives on thanks to his daughter for future generations to emulate. To learn more about the Craig D. Butler Foundation, visit www.craigdbutlerscholarship. com or you can email Khadijah at info@ craigdbutlerscholarship.com. h

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Bridging The Gap for Minorities in Aviation

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By Gamal Williams Photos by Ramone Hemphill Flight (noun) – the action or process of flying through the air. For Ramone Hemphill, flying is a dream come true. A 9-year licensed pilot and Charlotte, North Carolina native, Ramone now resides in Melbourne, Florida working as a Systems Engineer in Avionics. “The first interest I had in aviation was in high school. I was in this group called The Explorers Club, and I was looking into Air Traffic Control. I got to go to an air traffic control tower for the first time. That’s what got me geared up thinking about aviation in general. Fast forward, I ended up with a career spanning from aviation electronics (avionics) and flight controls, to flight test engineering. From that point, it was about getting a deeper understanding of aviation. The idea early on for me was that if I could obtain my pilot’s license, I could have a deeper operational understanding of it,” he says. Ramone recognized the lack of African American representation in the aeronautics field. While African Americans are present at airports as baggage handlers, flight attendants, or security guards, they are vastly under-represented in the overall aviation community. Aeronautical engineering, air traffic control, aviation maintenance, all have low representation of African Americans, but none more than aircraft pilots. According to a 2018 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 3% of all commercial pilots in the US are African American. Ramone wants to change that. Along with his wife, and Board of Directors, Brinkley Wright, and Richard Winchester, Ramone formed The 99th Squadron in Brevard County, Florida. The 99th Squadron, so named after the first African American fighter squadron, the 99th Pursuit Squadron, is a non-profit organization dedicated to bridging the gap between the aviation field and our community. According to their website, The99th.org, Ramone and his team “expose our youth to the vast opportunities of the aviation industry, starting with the most basic fundamentals of flight for middle school and high school students.” Continued on the next page

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The 99th offers a “free to students” 5-week curriculum, or “Flight Plan” as his website states, that involves 1-hour courses on Saturdays, with a 30-minute homework review every Wednesday to gauge student comprehension and potential topics of discussion. The 99th teaches students a wide range of fundamentals: Aerodynamic Principles, Instruments & Engines, Air Traffic Control, Decision Making, Charts, Navigation Systems, Aviation Weather, and Weather Services. At the end of the course, each student (along with a chaperone) gets to take to the air for a handson flight, allowing students to co-pilot and apply what they have been learning. “I’ve had the most fun introducing aeronautics to people, specifically people that didn’t realize there are hundreds of airports, not just the big ones, but smaller ones. People don’t realize that ‘Hey, you can do this too. You can get your pilot’s license and here’s what that looks like,’” Ramone explained. “I have seen that people don’t see this as a tangible field. I had one student tell me they were thinking of being a flight attendant… but there are other things besides that. That tells me in their day-to-day, they are in an environment that is limiting their options. We don’t even limit the program to being a pilot, it just starts out with that because that is what the industry is centered around. But we expose them to all facets of aviation,” Ramone says.

“I’ve had the most fun introducing aeronautics to people, specifically people that didn’t realize there are hundreds of airports, not just the big ones, but smaller ones. People don’t realize that ‘Hey, you can do this too. You can get your pilot’s license and here’s what that looks like.”

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Once the course is over, Ramone and his team encourage the students to stay involved in the aeronautical field. “Once they complete the program, my idea of the best way to keep them engaged is to keep them in the air. We may not be able to get them in the air every week or every month, but we encourage them to continue in the program through our Continuing Education initiative, where we take them on site visits. We’ll also collaborate with other local STEM initiatives, namely the General Chappie James, Jr. Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., the South Brevard County Task Force, and the Rising Star Leadership Development.” Jason Webber was one of those students. The 17-year-old high school senior has always dreamt of being a pilot. “I love airports. When I found out about The 99th, I was excited about the opportunity. My first flight was a lot of fun. I was a little nervous at first, but then what we learned about the instruments and knowledge of the aircraft kicked in,” Jason says. When asked what he did immediately after, he laughed. “I posted a video of it to SnapChat! All my friends thought it was cool and asked how I got to do that.” His mother, Melody, enjoyed her flight as well. “I was a little nervous, but I loved seeing Jason so focused and excited. He has talked of joining the Air Force. Hopefully, this program will inspire him to keep going,” she says.


The 99th Squadron looks for the best in every child, regardless of past academic performance. “The whole point of this is to get the children to dig in a little deeper than what they are getting in school, and actually be able to apply what they are already learning in school to something that is tangible,” explains Ramone. “I’m a firm believer in that. We don’t exclude children because of their grades. A child’s poor performance could be because they haven’t found something that interests them. This could be it for them,” says Ramone. The 2021 fundraising goal for the upcoming September class is $5,000 which would cover the five-week course and flights for ten students. If you would like to donate to The 99th Squadron, please visit their website. h

Ramone Hemphill The99th.org

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By Trea’Sure Prince Photos by Keisha Heggie Jay Maxwell, also known as Meantime Max, was born in Newark, New Jersey to a creative household. He later moved to Greensboro, N.C., and attended James B. Dudley High School. After graduation, Maxwell went on to attend Winston Salem Barber College and obtained his professional barber’s license. He eventually became a successful barber in the triad area. Maxwell was the youngest of three and has two older brothers. He was raised by a single mother and stated that his mother did her absolute best to make sure that she would raise strong black men, even if she had to do it alone. “My creativity was inspired by “school-teacher mother,” he shares. “She has always been artistic, and her gift eventually rubbed off on me.” To keep him busy, Maxwell’s mother allowed him to assist with creating bulletin boards which ignited his passion for a larger scale of art.

“I did not want my artistry to be put into a box. I enjoy how random they can be, as well as the freedom of expression my artwork provides.” Other than seeing his mother taking art courses in college when he was younger, Maxwell hasn’t had any former training but has always been passionate about street art and graffiti. Unfortunately, his interest led to some trouble and mischief. As a teenager, he was charged for painting the wall of a local grocer, Winn-Dixie. After that, he decided to put a stop to it. After his break from street art and graffiti, he evolved to draw and create mixtape covers for other artist and musicians. He also created flyers for a rap group of which he was a member of at the time. Life would happen and he stopped painting graffiti and street art. Then something horrific happened in our country that would inspire artists from all walks of life to become involved. Philadelphia - March/April 2021

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After hearing the news of George Floyd’s murder, a black man who was killed at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis, MN, the country responded with swift anger and emotions. Many businesses, including those in Maxwell’s home of Greensboro boarded up their business out of fear of being damaged by vandalism. Turns out, that many of these infractions weren’t being committed by the protesters who marched in peace in response to the killing of Floyd. But instead, were being carried out by criminals. The city started allowing local people to paint on the plywood boards. While taking his daughter to go painting, Maxwell noticed there just were not enough black artists out there participating. So, he got busy and soon many of his works dawned the building of downtown Greensboro. Later the city of Greensboro established a Street Mural Program. It was a huge accomplishment for him to be invited to participate in the “One Love” project in downtown Greensboro. Artists painted “One Love” on Davie Street. Here, he met a lot of the big-time artists who were in town to contribute to this unified cause. Maxwell has a variety of artwork that he does. His artwork ranges from graffiti and wall murals to canvases and poetry. Mainly his creative energies lead him to create large street art. He described his creativity as “a free bird flying.” “This comparison may be cliché but, it is accurate.” It is also important to Maxwell to produce pieces that are purposeful. “I did not want my artistry to be put into a box. I enjoy how random they can be, as well as the freedom of expression my artwork provides,” he says. In his pieces, he also wanted to stop making black men look like victims. Maxwell stated, “I wanted to give black men their power back.” One of his most memorable experiences or works came about a year ago when he lost a good friend of his. Maxwell decided that he wanted to make him into what seemed to be a “black superman” like figure. This piece was very emotional for him, so emotional in fact that he had to stop and take breaks to help keep himself maintained. He also wanted to make sure that he got this particular piece done exactly right. It was done such as it should be, and the finished work has been applauded by onlookers and friends of his deceased friend.

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So, what lies in the future for Mr. Jay, “Meantime Max” Maxwell? He plans to use the art to catapult other projects that he has been working on, and he would like to continue selling more canvases. As of right now, Jay Maxwell is continuing to pursue his passion for art. He is also a local barber who owns a barber shop and has been working on producing music. “Meantime Max” is simply a jack of all trades. If you would like to support artist Jay Maxwell, he uses Shopify, but he accepts direct messages on Instagram where he goes by the handle “MeantimeMax” for serious inquiries. h

Follow Jay Maxwell on Instagram @meantimemax Philadelphia - March/April 2021

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Informatoin provided by Daron Sellars Photo by Still Shots Photography The National Black Professional Athletes Foundation (NBPAF) is honored to announce a partnership with two powerhouse organizations to address longstanding systemic inequalities in communities of color. In collaboration with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Section and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), NBPAF will host multiple virtual awareness events this year across the South to continue the important conversations on social justice, advocacy, and police reform. The events’ target audience will be underrepresented minority youth who are disproportionately affected by racial injustices. Daron Sellars, CEO of the National Black Professional Athletes Foundation (NBPAF) is eager to launch this initiative and feels the impact will be immediate. “Being able to partner with organizations like USTA Southern and NOBLE are important to NBPAF, particularly when it comes to social justice issues and the effect on young people of color. We want to engage early to help them understand how to navigate the complexities of the current environment in which we find ourselves in today. Having events with people who look like them in the sports world as well as the legal system is imperative with building trust and we want to be on the forefront of creating transformative and impactful change.” USTA Southern shares this sentiment and looks forward to collaborating on the upcoming events as well. Home to over 20,000 youth through their National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) chapters, USTA Southern has worked for decades to all youth, regardless of race, gender, and income through tennis instruction, academic support, leadership development, and life skills. The late Tennis Champion and social activist, Arthur Ashe founded the National Junior Tennis League in 1969. USTA Southern Director of Diversity, NJTL & Grants, Cee Jai Jones adds, “Partnering with the National Black Professional Athletes Foundation allows us to bring a social responsibility initiative to our teens in an impactful way. We are excited for them to gain greater awareness

and insight on social justice from athletes and public servants while also empowering them to serve as change agents in their own communities.” The first event will kick-off virtually in February and will be hosted in Greensboro, NC, a historical city to many civil rights demonstrations. Other cities where events will be held later this year include Atlanta, GA, New Orleans, LA, Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, Louisville, KY, and Birmingham, AL. The National Black Professional Athletes Foundation honors the history, legacy, and accomplishments of black athletes through a global platform that empowers them to change lives through community advocacy. Inspired to make an impact. For more information, please contact the National Black Professional Athletes Foundation at www.nbpaf.org/contact h

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By Fanta Dorley - Photos by Michael Duncan “The community was always supporting me, but I know it was God that was guiding me” From the family kitchen to kitchens around the world, Chef Brandon Emmitt has earned his place as one of the nation’s premier Chefs. If you ask him, he’d say, “I’m just doing what I love to do”. With an armor of modesty and humility, along with a spirit of curiosity and skill, Chef Brandon shows us how carving a path can be all that it’s cooked up to be. Brandon Emmitt was born and raised in the Dallas/Frisco area of Texas. Being the younger brother of the five children, he was the recipient of life’s lessons and benefits. “My dad kept us in church and busy with school so there wasn’t much room for anything else,” he says. “As a rising high school football star, many of the community supported my journey, and even encouraged me to pursue a professional career in the NFL,” Brandon shares. At the time, that did not seem too far-fetched to achieve being that Brandon had begun receiving awards and was looking forward to landing a full athletic scholarship at a local university. As the young NFL grew into adulthood, he began to develop strong morals and values which placed him in a dilemma with his environment. He remembers, “As I grew older, I realized that I couldn’t be in the NFL, because It directly went against my spiritual values of working on Sunday,” he says. Brandon believes Sunday is sacred and should be used to spend time with God and family. So, he had to find something else to do.

Just about that time, tragedy struck his childhood. His parents decided to get a divorce which hit him emotionally hard. “I thought what am I going to do? So much is going on and I just don’t know what to do,” he says. During this time, his mother became sick and most of his family was scattered around the country, and Brandon found himself in a position to make some tough, life decisions. However, he did what he knew best. He got down on his needs and began to pray. Through his increased prayer-life, he was able to reflect on things that molded and shaped his values in order to give him direction. So instead of going to college as planned, life’s challenges took him on a path of self-reflection and seeking direction. First, he reflected on his father. He shares, “I watched my father work 12-hour days and still came home and cooked for us. And when he cooked, he threw down”. Being from Louisiana, you can just imagine the various dishes that grazed the table. Hot water cornbread, black eyed peas, and fried chicken. He next reflected on head culinary chef instructor and school mentor, Robert Bifulco. When Brandon’s parents divorced in 2002, he decided to stick around and help his mom out instead of going away to school. While working odd jobs, Brandon was encouraged to take advantage of a program offered at a local community college that provided him with an Associate of Applied Science Culinary Arts Degree. “That’s when I came across Mr. Bifulco. He stayed on me and kept me grounded,” he says. Brandon realized that he not only needed skill development, but also personal development. That’s what Robert Bifulco provided. After finishing at the top of his class in the Culinary program, Brandon worked at a major hotel kitchen and that was the beginning of his of his life’s career. “I decided, I wanted to travel the world and learn how to make dishes from other cultures,” he says. After starting at a

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hotel with a friend in California, he sought opportunities that was posted through the hotel. The position allowed him to make bold and risky moves like transferring to the hotel’s location in South Beach Florida. After he learned all that he could from the Floridian culture, he traveled to Puerto Rico and worked there for one year. Next of the map, Chef Brandon travelled to San Bernardino, CA but didn’t stay long due to a great opportunity to work in the Dominican Republic, after a short stay there, he moved back to Dallas. By 2014, He reunited with his old childhood friend and got married. In addition to having his son that year, he also gave birth to his dream of catering. Unfortunately, in 2016 he had to start all over after going through a divorce. “God got my attention. I began to pray more and ask God for direction,” he says. He felt like God was punishing him for not being obedient, but soon came to realize the bad experiences were just inspiration and motivation. In the beginning of March 2020, he decided to make a post on social media of a dish he made. He posted a dish online every day for five months. His consistency paid off. “I can remember God saying, ‘You post your food, and I will send them to your page Next, he rented community kitchen spaces to prepare meals and Emmitt’s Catering was born. His niche is not having a set menu. “When a client calls to tell me what they want to eat, it is a good challenge for me to create that experience for them,” he says. Although based in Southland, TX, Emmitt’s Catering is open to travel and has a staff of six people and can offer services as a personal chef, meal prepping, and online cooking classes. Chef Brandon also finds time to give back to the community by providing meals from frontline workers as well as those experiencing homelessness. He has developed a go fund me page called “Ware Against Hunger since November 2020. Cooking for other gives him a level of satisfaction and pleasure that is indescribable. “When I see the happiness, my food brings to people, I can’t pick a favorite dish because it’s trumped by the common feeling of providing their favorite experience,” he shares. “With everything I do, I want people to know that their food was made with love. So, I tell them that with every delivery.” Moving forward, Chef Brandon plans to take his “experience” around the globe. He is not sure how God is going to connect all those dots, but he knows it will happen. Currently, he is the number one ranked in a nationwide contest called “Favorite Chef”. This win will catapult his vision into place by awarding him a $50,000 cash prize, as well as a feature in Bon Appetite Magazine. When asked how the ranking makes him feel, he responded, “It is not about titles but more about the inboxes that I am getting with people honoring me and asking my opinion.” Chef Brandon understands that when God gives to you, the more you must give to others. With all of his life experiences, he rose beyond the concrete and proved that all experiences do make you stronger and all gifts will make room for you. You just must keep focused and stick with it. To learn more about Chef Brandon, please contact him directly. h

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Emmitts Catering www.emmittscatering.com 817-993-9731 Philadelphia - March/April 2021

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By Terry L. Watson Photos by B Smith Photography

It is impossible to judge a book by its cover. When looking at Lakeshia Bradley, this applies just as well. One would have to peel back the layers of her life in order to get a glimpse of what she has endured, survived, overcome, and triumphed through. Lakeisha is a well-known entrepreneur in the Upstate area of South Carolina. Born and raised in Kingstree, S.C., she describes her native home as a city with few opportunities available. Yet, she managed to beat the odds and made it out later relocating to Greenville SC. There, her dreams became a reality. In Greenville, Lakeisha has established herself to be a successful businesswoman. Her portfolio is very diverse in that she offers tax services, childcare services, and health care. Through LM Tax Service, Lakeisha assists clients with every tax related need such as starting their professional tax practice, tax preparation and planning; individual, partnership, and corporate returns, including S Corporations. Lakeisha shares, “We have been providing personalized tax and accounting services throughout South Carolina since 2000. With our certified training and expansive financial knowledge, we are equipped to handle all accounting needs, no matter how complex they may be. Whether someone requires assistance at the personal or corporate level, we are ready to serve tax planners and accounting advisors.” As the founder of Little Wonders Learning Center, Lakeisha shares their goal is to create an environment that both nurtures and educates children. “With our experience and knowledge, we help children feel safe and cared for while the parents are away. Unlike other types of childcare, we provide your child with the individual care and attention they deserve. Each child may have different needs, so we emphasize individualized care as much as possible,” she says.

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Through her third business, Care for All, Lakeisha ensures client medical needs are met with the help of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Registered Nurses (RNs). Lakeisha has seen her share of trials and tribulations. She has seen more rejection than acceptance also. “The testimony I live by every day is no matter how many doors may close, keep pushing until the ones who turned you down ask you for a job,” she says. Lakeisha’s entrepreneurial journey began when she started to focus more on her personal growth than the opinion of others. “Learning to become comfortable in my own skin was very important and it’s one of the things I always speak to my clients about.” True joy started to find its way into my life when I stopped denying what I was here for, my purpose,” she says. “I am inspired mostly by my mother. She was always determined and dedicated and gave me the best life possible. There was never a time my mother gave up and that motivated me to keep pushing even when the job seemed too hard to handle.”

“It’s only because of God that I am able to do what I can. Because His love fills my heart, I am committed to sharing that same love with those who are connected to me, both professionally and personally.”

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Those examples of determination and diligence continue to play a huge role in Lakeisha’s life. It would be too easy to just walk away and call it quits, plus that wouldn’t please God. “It’s only because of God that I am able to do what I can. Because His love fills my heart, I am committed to sharing that same love with those who are connected to me, both professionally and personally,” she says. Moving forward, Lakeisha plans to expand her business to other areas and give her daughters the rope. Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to never give up. “Always remember that Amazon was once small, but now it’s our everyday source of online shopping. Keep pushing,” she says.

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Elasticity Hair Care

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By Ayana Bryant Photos by Livin For Media Photography

Many industries endured a major hit from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The world of cosmetology and small businesses within it came to a complete halt by the orders of local and state governments everywhere, with some being unable to sustain the blow. Local Detroit salon owner and businesswoman, Sonya Molette managed to keep her 20-year-old business alive and even used her time during the shutdown to develop a new venture. Molette, born and raised in Detroit, Michigan is leaving her mark on the hair industry in her unique way. She was given by mother to be raised by her grandparents at age of nine. She also suffered the loss of her mother at age 16 although, in what she describes as an unpleasant time in her life. Molette grew ip spoiled, loved and with lots of structure in her life. Always finding herself in leadership positions throughout school, she quickly realized that she enjoyed leading a team and excelling in whatever field she entered. This began to awaken an entrepreneurial spirit within her and inspired her to pursue something she had always loved, which was hair. She began to make money in school charging her classmates for finger waves and pony tails during lunchtime. Then she’d parade up and down the block with her “dollar gel” servicing many new clients. After ditching the idea to pursue a career in mortuary science, Molette enrolled at Detroit’s own Preston and Anna’s Beauty School. Now following her passion, she received her cosmetology license. After graduating, she began working at various beauty salons in the city. She paid very close attention to learn all she could to gain experience and learn the ropes of the salon business. When that entrepreneurial spirit was reawakened yet again, she made the decision to open her own salon taking everything she had learned into consideration, but on a greater level. Molette opened the doors to Hype Hair Salon, LLC in November of 2001 and will be celebrating 20 years of business this year.

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“ Being a single mother and running a salon from sun-up to sun-down was challenging. I’ve had breaking points but never broke, so that’s where I got the name.....Elasticity.”

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Hype Hair Salon remains as one of the top hair salons within the metro Detroit area. Offering service for all phases of hair, they are known for styling to perfection. When the pandemic hit last year, the salon had to close its doors, generating absolutely no revenue for any of its stylists or the owner. Molette says that experience has surely reminded her that as a business owner you must keep your finances in order. She encourages other small business to save as much as they can because you never know when something like this can happen, and preparation is key. Although 2020 was a very difficult time it gave Molette the opportunity to begin developing her own faith-based product line, Elasticity Hair Care. She partnered with a local manufacturer handpicking each specific ingredient that would most benefit her customers hair and a chemist to help her solidify the formulas. This product line includes a therapeutic purifying shampoo and conditioner, leave in conditioner, heat protectant, holding spray, silk and serum, and also a luminosity sheen. Molette says that God gave her the name Elasticity and shares, “Being a single mother working, and running a salon from sun-up to sun-down was challenging. I’ve had breaking points but never broke, so that’s where I got the name Elasticity. The ability to stretch and bounce back without breaking. I call my Ministry in a Bottle.” She hopes that these products will help women spiritually as well as physically. Elasticity Hair Care will launch in June 2021. Molette says that her three beautiful daughters are what motivate her to continue thriving and working hard. “Failure was never an option for me. I thrive on making it and just being successful in every right,” she says. With a successful career spanning over the last 25 years, she has definitely left her mark on the industry. Her accomplishments also include working as a celebrity stylist for some of our favs such as The Clark Sisters, The Sheards, Judge Hatchett, Judge Mablean, and even Hoopz from the hit reality TV show Flavor of Love, plus many more. Molette’s future plans for her career include promoting her hair line and opening a second Hype Hair location in Texas, where she plans to relocate. After the launch of Elasticity Hair Care in May, she plans to begin work on two new collections, Elasticity Natural and Elasticity Kids. h

Sonya Molette Elasticity Hair Care 248-403-3404 44

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MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

Railyn Bozeman The daughter of Raisha Mercer and Dexter Bozeman

To submit photographs to be placed in the Huami Magazine Cutest Baby feature, please send a detailed email to huami.cutestbaby@gmail.com


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Profile for Terry Watson

Huami Magazine Philadelphia March/April 2021  

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Huami Magazine Philadelphia March/April 2021  

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