Cartoons and Book Lists – Bino and Fino

binofino

Everywhere we turn there is an article on the state of the youth today, in particular Black youth. There always seems to be something in the airways about the negative influences and stereotypes. Contrary to the news and other media, there are positive influences. We actually don’t have to look very far to find good things happening in communities all around the world. While there seems to be more bad than good reported, this find was a delight. Take a moment to stroll in the world of Bino and Fino – a cartoon series made with the Black child in mind. http://www.binoandfino.com/

We love two of their recent blogs which gave a list of books that celebrate Black boys (http://www.binoandfino.com/blog/2015/8/11/a-list-of-childrens-books-that-celebrate-black-boys) and Black girls (http://www.binoandfino.com/blog/2015/8/7/a-super-list-of-childrens-books-that-celebrate-black-girls). With titles like “TuTu Goes Green” and “Chocolate Me” this is a great list of gift items for children.

TuTu Cover          Chocolate Me

Be sure to check out the comments as others list a variety of other books in the marketplace. In addition to the list of book, the Bino and Fino site also has toys and other items for purchase.

__________________________________________________________

http://www.myblackdollarscount.com follows a journey to locate, support and review black businesses. You can subscribe to this page on the right or “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/myblackdollarscount

Have a great black owned business you want to tell us about? Email mybdc4@gmail.com and maybe your business “story” will be featured.

Advertisements

We All Scream for Ice Cream…and Change!

taharka

About the film: “The future of Taharka Brothers, purveyors of ice cream and social change, hinges on the success of a crowdfunding campaign. If successful, they will be able to grow their business by launching a Food for Thought ice cream truck, a literal vehicle for change. With a looming deadline, and what seems like an insurmountable goal: $28,000 in 29 days, Taharka Brothers takes to the streets to raise awareness, inspire, and turn out some supremely delicious ice cream voted Best in Baltimore. Progress is slow and defeat starts to set in, until a pivotal phone call. Filmmakers Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp) take us behind the scenes in a fun, yet poignant portrayal of young men from Baltimore toughest neighborhoods as they struggle with entrepreneurship, sharpen their business strategy and inspire their community. Baltimore has a positive and empowering story to tell. The Taharka Brothers ingenuity and character are an inspiration to all. When you fight for what you believe in, dreams happen. Produced by Tribeca Digital Studios, in association with American Express, in celebration of small businesses and entrepreneurs”.

________________________________________________

It is  hot in cities all across America.  One way to beat the heat and cool off is to enjoy sweet, cold ice cream and sorbet. The Taharka Bros built their company from the ground up. This is a beautiful story about young, Black men starting their own business and making change in their community.  With all the death, protest and social issues of today, they are making a positive impact. So while we scream for ice cream, we are screaming even more for change and for justice.

Their website provides more information about their location and history.

http://www.taharkabrothers.com/story.html

Please take a few minutes from your day to enjoy this short, inspirational documentary… A Dream Preferred.

________________________________________________

http://www.myblackdollarscount.com follows a journey and challenge to locate, support and review local black owned businesses.  Join the challenge, whoever you may be, wherever your location. You can subscribe to this page or “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/myblackdollarscount

Have a great black owned business you want to tell us about? Email mybdc4@gmail.com and maybe your business “story” will be featured one week.

 

What’s on the Hairizon?

hairizon 062615 2

Black is beautiful! One of the ways to keep skin and hair beautiful is through the use of various products. Hairizon is a shop nestled in downtown Durham, NC (for the moment). The business will soon move to Northgate Mall in Durham after the end of July. If you are a fan of natural body products, I suggest you follow them via email or on facebook (http://www.hairizonbeauty.com/). They offer beauty, fashion and total body care. Shopping can be done in person or online. They uniquely customize bath and body treats with scents and essential oils. When walking in, you will find scent pleasantry as you stroll through the quaint shop featuring at least 30 local vendors. Two visits in one week and we picked up some hair, bath and body care products. The custom beauty bar in the back of the store is like candy land. I experimented with putting chocolate scent in their smooth whipped shea butter. I then tried a light, fruity strawberry scent in their lighter whipped mango butter. Looking to find a new shampoo and conditioner, we tried something rich and creamy from Coco Curls (http://cococurls.com/). After a good wash and condition, I added the shea/mango butter to my hair to pop the curls and also softened my skin, elbows and feet with the chocolaty strawberry whipped goodness.

hairizon 062615 3                      hairizon 062615

I got so many compliments at work and I felt amazingly soft. I had the chance to be in the same area as the store again this week. Instead of spending my dollars on my usual soap, I am trying a honey, almond and oatmeal soap from Herbal Body Blessings (http://herbalbodyblessings.com/). I picked up some whipped mango butter for a gift and saw they were running a special…3 body care products for $20. I added a body wash and body scrub to bring back home for myself. Being that you can customize, I took the opportunity to experiment with the delicious scents. I brought home a tropical body scrub with a hint of coconut scent and a Mimosa-scented body wash with vitamin E oil to accompany the custom peppermint and lavender bath salts I brought home a few days ago. I now have some great new natural products to add to my home and I am supporting several black businesses at the same time.

hairizon 070215

http://www.myblackdollarscount.com follows a journey and challenge to locate, support and review local black owned businesses.  Join the challenge, whoever you may be, wherever your location. You can subscribe to this page on the right or “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/myblackdollarscount

Have a great black owned business you want to tell us about? Email mybdc4@gmail.com and maybe your business “story” will be featured one week.

 

It Starts with Me

Abanitu Organics

In a quest to find and support black owned business, I took a Saturday to stroll through the streets, shopping centers and markets. On this particular Saturday, I visited the Durham Farmers’ Market located on Foster Street in downtown Durham, NC. I was looking for black owned farmers and vendors to purchase items for my home. I ran into several people and was pleased to come in contact with Abanitu Organics (www.abanituorganics.com). I strolled up to their booth and was pleasantly greeted and shown the items of the day. After tasting berries and turnips, I purchased green onions, turnips, kale and berries.

Abanitu May302015

I mentioned my project and challenge. “I want to support my community and make a difference. I looked at my spending and wondered if I could spend those dollars in black owned businesses”. Oh, what sweet delight when his face lit up. Then we chatted. Along the way he asked, “so what clicked for you, why did you decide to do this”. I paused for a second and said “making a change starts with me…it starts with me”. If each person would take that challenge within themselves, we will start to see change at an exponential rate. It will not happen overnight. In the last month, I have been elated and frustrated. My frustration is wanting to see the change fully realized. I don’t want to go out of my way to find a business to support, yet, the extra mile is truly rewarding. As this journey progresses, I see that black owned businesses are all around me. It gives me a great feeling that in the past month, I have been in the presence of or spoken to someone in 17 black owned businesses. Of the 17, I re-visited only 3, accounting for a overwhelming set of new businesses. I have spent roughly $300 in goods and services (money I already spend in a given month), however, I am just getting started and I am only one person. Imagine the impact if each of us chose even one black owned business to support a week?

http://www.myblackdollarscount.com follows a journey and challenge to locate, support and review local black owned businesses. We will explore why there may not be more of them (or maybe there is a lot of them). We will see. Join the challenge, whoever you may be, wherever your location. You can subscribe to this page on the right or “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/myblackdollarscount

Have a great black owned business you want to tell us about? Email mybdc4@gmail.com and maybe your business “story” will be featured one week.

In the Words of the GPS…Re-Calculating

In the last week, more than once, I had to recalculate my route. In one instance I was headed to a national carwash chain when it came to mind that a black owned carwash was even closer…and better priced for the service. I took a u-turn at the light and headed that way. While it was closed for the Memorial holiday, I put in a call to check their regular hours of operation. The owner called me back and was expressing thanks for the opportunity to do business. He explained that his folks worked so hard, that he felt that they needed to spend time with their families. That is honorable. Work is not everything, there needs to be a good balance. Happy employees go a long way in business. I told him about my journey to locate and spend my dollars supporting black owned businesses. We chatted a bit about how I would go down that path, what I hoped to accomplish and how I looked forward to returning to give them a try. I want to make an impact in my community. I dream of the day that these businesses can start re-calculating and get greater support so they can grow. Grow so they can hire more people. Hire more people so households have more income. More income so that bills can be more easily paid, savings realized and a change can come to that one house. That one house can begin change in a neighborhood and…you get the idea. In the end, it is way more than just economics. It is a big dream and it starts one re-calculation at the time. Where have your feet or tires turned to support black owned businesses this week?

http://www.myblackdollarscount.com follows a journey and challenge to locate, support and review local black owned businesses.  We will explore why there may not be more of them (or maybe there is a lot of them). We will see. Join the challenge, whoever you may be, wherever your location. You can subscribe to this page on the right or “Like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/myblackdollarscount

Have a great black owned business you want to tell us about? Email mybdc4@gmail.com and maybe your business “story” will be featured one week.

Support Comes at a Cost…One You Should Pay

Supporting any cause or challenge comes at a cost. In this first week of the challenge to spend dollars in businesses within my community, I have met and interacted with some great people. My journey had me all across the city and in the neighboring county. An evening out took me outside of the normal streets and shopping centers I usually frequent. While there may have been a little more gas and time, it was a refreshing feeling knowing that I was a new/repeat face in a business and there was a specific purpose behind my presence. When this challenge first came to mind, I went through the last 3 months of transactions to see where I spend my dollars. I spent hours on the internet researching businesses to try. I will be excited to share information about a black owned wholesale meat business, an all organic farm, bakeries, clothing, jewelry, fitness, caterers, nail care, massage therapy, bookstores, banks and restaurants. What black owned businesses do you support in your community? Comment with the name of the business, a link to their Facebook or website and the location by city and state.  This week, take a look at your transactions just over the last month. Where can you lend your support?

http://www.myblackdollarscount.com follows a journey and challenge to locate, support and review local black businesses and why there may not be more of them (or maybe there is a lot of them). Join the challenge, whoever you may be, wherever you are. Subscribe to this page on the right…Like us on Facebook at

http://www.facebook.com/myblackdollarscount

CHANGE, CHALLENGE, SUPPORT #myblackdollarscount

Challenge yourself to change and effect change within your community.

A few weeks ago I woke up and had a moment of thought. I wondered why I was still here. I am a survivor. I am an African-American, Black person. I am free thinking and equally free speaking but what am I doing with my life beyond myself? I have thoughts every person has when they start to wonder about their existence. With all the unrest of recent police brutality and murder of black men and people in general, I started to think about how I spend my time. What support do I lend to my community? What change can I effect by myself? Am I meant to just exist? I go to work, I take care of my home, I pay bills, I support my family and I have wonderful friends. Is this enough?

I went to integrated elementary, middle and high schools. I was a member of an integrated church congregation. When I was younger, being one of the few or only black people in a setting, I was sometimes made aware or felt my difference. I believe I have found some good people in my lifetime whether they are green, blue, purple, white or black. I have never lost sight of the tremendous burden that falls on me to strive to be better, speak better, “act” better and appear better in order to fit within what society dictates. However, I have held true to who I am and have never been anyone other than me.

After college, I moved and lived in a small southern town where I was thrust into the reality that I am Black. Not that I didn’t realize it before, but I went to a “Black” college where everyone looked like me, most of the time. I went by choice because I certainly had options of other schools. I was so immersed in the culture and the safety of campus that I hadn’t recently had the in-your-face reality of a world that didn’t allow me to freely be myself because of the mere appearance of my beautiful chocolate caramel colored skin. I am proud of who I am. I am proud to be a part of a strong and gorgeous race of people. It is a shame that this lineage was tainted by racism and slavery. We can’t get around it, brush it under the rug or ignore that it happened or exists. I think we just have moments where our environment is so comfortable that we momentarily forget that it is buried and not dead. That racism is a bad mother-shut-yo-mouth. It has fallen into the category of a weed and not a corpse. A corpse stays dead and buried, a weed keeps coming back. With a weed, you can put weed killer on it, you can pull it up but weeds still exist. With all of the pesticides produced to date, weeds have never been completely eradicated, much like racism.

I recently heard a statistic about the buying power of the black dollar, along with statistics of unemployment, crime, economic woes and so on. Then I wondered about black businesses. With all that buying power, why aren’t there more successful black businesses? I am not blind to the fact that there are varying reasons why there may not be more successful small businesses in general. So that brings me to this project. #myblackdollarscount First, let me say I am not against any business. Everyone has the right to be an entrepreneur and make money, thus, the secondary meaning of “black” dollars. To be in the black in business is a good thing. I am not against white people but I am not white, I am Black. That is the only perspective I have. I have met and broken bread with some good people, operative word – people, in my life. I have friends and family from all cultures and races. There are always extremes in every case and race. I have now seen both sides. For my white folks, I want you to understand, when you go out into the market place I want you to ask yourself how many Black owned businesses do I patronize faithfully, why or why not? Is it that they don’t exist? Did you have a bad experience? Are they not where you live and shop? Or do you have black owned businesses that you support? Everyone ask these questions of yourself. Where did I buy my car? Where do I get my gas? Where did I purchase meats and vegetables? What restaurants did I eat in? Who serviced my car? What non-profit organization did I support? Where did I get hair, make-up and beauty products? Where did I play golf? Where did I take my kids to play, that was not a park? Where was my child’s birthday party held? Where do I bank? Who built my home by that I mean the developer and the builder? Who services my appliances? Where did I buy home improvement supplies? Who did my nails or massage? Where is the gym where I work out? Where do I purchase my clothes and shoes? Who is my doctor? Where is my pharmacy? Where is the bookstore? Now the biggest question, who owns all of those places? I will wait. That is just 20 questions. You can create your own statistic just from the answers to those questions. I am not talking about your salesman or worker or waiter or teller or attendant. I am talking about the owner and by owner I don’t just mean of a franchise. So, please understand, I am just pointing out that white people don’t have the same issues as other minority races when it comes to big business or small business ownership. It is not a foremost thought. It is not an issue of why there aren’t more successful businesses within that community. Why is that?

So that is the challenge of this project for me. It is born out of curiosity. #myblackdollarscount is about seeing how many of my dollars I can shift to support the small businesses within our community. I am looking forward to meeting business owners and workers wherever I may find myself. Along the way, I will be writing reviews, visiting and patronizing as many businesses as I can. Not because I have anything against anyone but because I am Black. I am African-American. I am brown, caramel and sun-kissed. And because I woke up one day and wondered if the dollars in my household could make a difference in my community. The journey and challenge begin…. I invite you, whoever you are, to take the journey with me in your respective communities and places of residence. Hash-tag #myblackdollarscount and hash-tag the city of the business.


www.myblackdollarscount.com follows a journey and challenge to locate, support and review local black businesses and why there may not be more of them (or maybe there is alot of them). Join the challenge, whoever you may be, wherever you are.  Like us on facebook at