45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 23: America’s First Black Billionaire Buys NBA Franchise

Robert L. Johnson And Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. Announce Alliance To End Payday Lending, Lower Minority Consumer Debt, And Promote Financial Education

This year, BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestones moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

Today we reveal No. 23 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

2003: Billionaire Bob Johnson makes another slam dunk in black business history by breaking the ownership barrier in professional sports through the acquisition of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats.

Recognized as America’s first black billionaire, business mogul Robert L. Johnson is accomplished at being involved with and closing big deals.

 

(Robert L. Johnson. Image: File)

 

Johnson showed his proficiency as a serial entrepreneur when he paid $ 300 million in 2003 to acquire the National Basketball Association’s Charlotte Bobcats expansion team.  The transaction was huge as it made Johnson the first black majority owner of a major professional sports team.

Johnson’s deal shattered ownership barriers when it came to a black businessman operating in that realm, though at the time, the NBA had a player base that was roughly 80% black.

The acquisition came two years after Johnson, the founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), sold that company to Viacom for roughly $ 3 billion. As such, Johnson became a billionaire and household name.

Key Player in Proposed Airlines Merger

 

The audacious entrepreneur has always been focused on engaging in commercial enterprises in sectors which had an absence of African American ownership. For example, while in the process of selling BET, he also sought to launch DC Air as a major black-owned airline operating from Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington. Johnson, a US Airways board member at the time, hammered out a deal to acquire assets in the Washington market for $ 141 million as part of United Airlines then-parent UAL Corp. ‘s $ 4.3 billion bid for US Airways in 2000. The deal was grounded when the Department of Justice blocked the merger in 2001.

After he closed the BET deal, Johnson vigorously went after becoming a majority owner of a sports franchise but never succeeded. Johnson failed twice to buy the Charlotte Hornets from team owner George Shinn. After the Hornets relocated to New Orleans, the NBA opened itself to the possibility of adding an expansion team in Charlotte for the 2004-2005 season. In January 2003, the NBA Board of Governors granted Johnson the Charlotte franchise. He also gained ownership of the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting.

 

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, March 2003)

 

Johnson believes it was his business savvy and financial status that won the deal—he connected with NBA owners who were members of the selection team as well as had influencers such as then-AOL Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons and former President Bill Clinton go to bat for him. He also says that being African American was the fast break on his slam dunk: “The fact that I am African American was a plus, but at the end of the day, if I didn’t have the credibility or experience, there’s no way they would have said, ‘We’ll give it to you just because we want a black guy running an NBA team.”

 

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, March 2003)

 

Yet Johnson’s tenure as the NBA team’s owner was tarnished by forces like poor attendance and slow sponsorship sales, contributing to the loss of tens of millions of dollars and unprofitability. In 2009, Johnson began seeking a buyer.

Deal With Jordan

 

He eventually sold the franchise in 2010 to NBA legend Michael Jordan, who had been a minority investor and head of basketball operations since 2006, for $ 275 million. The Hall of Famer and six-time NBA champion became the second African American and first NBA player to own a franchise. At the time of the sale, Bobcats Basketball Holdings L.L.C., which Johnson founded, was ranked No. 40 on the 2009 BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE COMPANIES list. “I am confident that Michael’s leadership will bring success to the Bobcats whether it’s measured by on-the-court performance, success as a business, or making a positive impact in the Charlotte community,” Johnson said.

After operating under the Bobcats moniker for a decade, the franchise was named the Charlotte Hornets when it became available again after New Orleans owner Tom Benson changed his team’s name to the Pelicans.

Johnson continues to build his legacy as one of America’s most dynamic businessman and wealth builder. He currently serves as chairman of The RLJ Cos., a portfolio of holdings in assorted industries, including the RLJ McLarty Landers Holdings L.L.C., the highest-earning black-owned auto company with revenues of $ 1.6 billion and ranked No. 1 on the 2017 BE Auto 50 list and RLJ Equity Partners L.L.C. (No. 10 on the BE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS list with $ 334 million in capital under management). He was No. 2 on BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s list of “Titans: The 40 Most Powerful African Americans in Business” in the magazine’s 40th-anniversary issue and the recipient of the A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award, the media company’s highest honor, in 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

Coco: A must-see movie with heart, humor, and “aha” moments

by

Melissa Willets

posted in Life

It was a frantic Tuesday night. I’d just fought traffic for two hours to get to New York City for a screening of Coco, the new Disney Pixar film I’d been invited to attend, lucky me, on behalf of BabyCenter. The kids were whining and exhausted after a full day at school, and I was feeling frazzled.

I wrangled small, resistant bodies into coats and hats to fend off the freezing wind chill on the city streets. We made it to the theater (we had to run!), took our seats, and took a deep breath. We were in for a treat of a film. Coco both entertained, and managed to snuggle deep inside our hearts with its touching story and messages. Bottom line: This movie was totally worth the effort it took to get to the theater, and I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Coco is a new Disney Pixar film

In case you haven’t yet seen a preview for the movie, here’s a little bit about Coco’s premise. Basically, the story centers around the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

An ofrenda from Coco

The main character is a little boy named Miguel, who dreams of becoming a famous musician like his great-great grandfather, Ernesto de la Cruz (who is voiced by Benjamin Bratt). The problem is that his family doesn’t approve, vehemently.

Through a series of magical events, Miguel is soon thrust into the world of the dead, where he meets his family members who have passed on.

Miguel goes to the world of the dead in Coco

His journey takes unexpected twists and turns, but ultimately, Miguel will learn some disturbing family secrets, and be forced to make a choice between his dream to become a musician, and the people he loves most.

You’ll have to watch Coco, when it comes out in theaters on November 22, to find out how Miguel’s destiny unfolds.

But here are a few hints about what happens in this colorful, musically-enchanting movie. First, a goofy, troublemaking character named Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal), may not be who we think he is at first.

Miguel makes an unlikely friend in Coco

Second, parents should beware that there are a few scary sequences that made my kids cover their eyes, especially those featuring a spirit animal who starts off on the wrong foot with Miguel.

Coco's spirit animal is a little scary

Finally, be prepared to tear up during some scenes when Miguel learns about secret connections among his family members, and how much love truly matters. A song called “Remember Me,” which was written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez of Frozen fame, is sure to make you think about your loved ones who have passed on, and perhaps even rethink their roles in your life now that they are gone.

Coco and Miguel

Ultimately, Coco is a movie about how we are connected to family members alive and dead. It’s about how nothing is more important than love. It’s about not judging a book by its cover, so to speak. It’s about believing in yourself, and following your dreams.

The film definitely contains more than a few important messages for viewers of all ages. But if deep thinking isn’t your thing, Coco will make you laugh (skeleton humor abounds), awe you with its vibrant landscape, and catchy musical numbers, and shock you with plot twists you can’t possibly predict.

But if you let it, this film will stay with you long after its closing credits scroll off the screen.

For more information, check out movies.disney.com/coco, Hashtag: #PixarCoco, Pixar Coco Facebook, Pixar Coco Twitter and Pixar Coco Instagram.

Do you plan to go to see Coco this holiday season?

BabyCenter Blog

BABY CARE UPDATE:

Perfect Gifts for the Perfect baby

Jon Bernthal Picks His Favourite Violent Moments in ‘The Punisher’

It’s no secret that The Punisher is incredibly violent. There’s plenty of brutality throughout the other series’ in the Defenders stable, including Daredevil — Season 2, which features the Punisher himself, Frank Castle. But The Punisher is next level. Episode after episode, scene after scene, the violence keeps coming, with some genuinely savage moments.

The Punisher star Jon Bernthal shares his two favourites of the show’s many violent scenes exclusively with FANDOM, and why he likes them so much. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot also shares his thoughts.

“I like it when it’s intimate,” says Bernthal. “So the stuff in Episode 12 with Rawlins and being face to face, I really enjoyed that, and I really enjoyed the moment when [Frank] gets back up and the fight at the end of [Episode] three. I’m talking really from experiencing it, not seeing it, but I enjoy [on-screen violence].”


The-Punisher-04
Rawlins — the man in charge of a covert CIA operation, who wants Castle dead.

Bernthal is quick to point out that the extreme violence is a necessary part of Frank Castle’s story, and therefore it’s important that we see it.

“It’s not just violence for the sake of violence, there’s something behind it. And I think for Frank there’s a bit of momentary — I’ve always thought it — [it’s] a little bit like addiction for him,” he says. “He’s in this constant world of darkness. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, and he’s not searching for light. This is where he is and he’s accepted it, and if there’s ever any relief for him I think it’s watching someone take his last breath or seeing the fear in his eyes. It does something to him.”

Bernthal adds, “We all have our deepest darkest fears and his have been realised, and everything he does is in reaction to that. So I hope we’ve made a version [of The Punisher] that’s brutal enough to do it justice and has enough art to give him justice.”

It’s All About the Emotion

Showrunner Steve Lightfoot agrees with Bernthal about the necessity of the graphic nature of the violence we see — and picks the fight with Rawlins at the end of Episode 12 as well as the climax to Episode 13 as his favourite scenes.

“I don’t think I can really choose between them,” says Lightfoot. “And the reason it’s those is because there was so much build up to them. Both of those are the final scenes with the villains who have put Frank through so much. And for me, sort of what Jon was saying, I think violence for its own sake is one thing, but when there’s so much emotion attached to it, and the whole season has been about those two scenes, what I love about those [is] there’s just so much emotion in them. They’re both really sad scenes in the end and I just love what Jon and the other cast did.”

The Punisher premieres on Netflix on November 17.

The post Jon Bernthal Picks His Favourite Violent Moments in ‘The Punisher’ appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 25: Black Investment Banks and Facebook’s $104 Billion IPO

This year, BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—the BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestones moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

Today we reveal No. 25 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

2012: BE 100s investment banks CastleOak Securities, Loop Capital, and Williams Capital serve as some of the underwriters for the $ 104 billion Facebook IPO.

 

(Image: iStock/oneinchpunch)

 

When Facebook set the price for its initial public offering at $ 38 a share five years ago, that provided the social networking powerhouse a valuation of $ 104 billion—at the time, making Facebook the largest U.S. company based on market value.

Five BE 100s firms—CastleOak Securities, Loop Capital, M.R. Beal & Co., Williams Capital, and Blaylock Robert Van—were invited to the dance. They were among investment banks that Facebook requested to take part in the historic transaction, according to BLACK ENTERPRISE reports. Prior to that offering, the last high-profile transaction of a Silicon Valley company had been the $ 2.7 billion IPO of Google—now renamed Alphabet Inc.—in 2002 with Blaylock Partners, one of the leading black investment banks at the time, serving as co-manager.

 

(Ronald Blaylock. Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; June 1998)

 

Biggest Tech IPO in History

 

The deal was colossal as Facebook was among the most-hyped IPOs of all time. It listed on May 1, 2012, raising just over $ 16 billion. Yet the offering was impaired with trading issues and questionable information-sharing accusations. Still, it became one of the largest technology IPOs in American history.

James Reynolds Jr. (Loop Capital CEO James Reynolds. Image: File)

 

Investment banks entered the game when they were among 25 additional underwriters asked to participate in the IPO about a month after an initial list of book runners were named. They included J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Barclays Capital. All told, there were 33 underwriters, according to ZDNet.

Facebook’s bid to minority and women-owned investment banks succeeded similar actions taken by General Motors and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. during their own IPOs. “Wall Street tries to do what looks good on high-profile IPOs, and it will not go unnoticed that Facebook has chosen to bring in minority underwriters,” says Scott Sweet, senior managing partner at IPO Boutique. “It’s not going to make or break the deal, but it will show that they’re not nonchalant about the opportunities that smaller firms can offer distribution-wise.”

Yet with Facebook and other IPOs, diverse firms only landed book runner positions. In contrast, their large Wall Street counterparts were recruited for the more lucrative lead spots.

Black Politicians Advocate for Black-Owned Firms

 

Reuters reported in 2010 that Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, disputed General Motors’ decision not to include any underwriters from minority- or women-owned financial institutions. The massive Detroit automaker ultimately added some diverse banks as underwriters, including Chicago-based Loop Capital and CastleOak Securities, both of which have been named BLACK ENTERPRISE Financial Company of the Year in recent years for their stellar long-term performance.

Two years after the Facebook IPO, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said at the 17th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit that it’s crucial that corporations stop locking out minorities on corporate boards and financial transactions. The civil rights leader founded the Wall Street Project in 1996 with the Citizenship Education Fund.

He emphasized that while a handful of minority firms were involved in Facebook’s IPO, they only collected less than 1% of the investment banking fees.

The Facebook IPO and Jackson’s actions, in part, served as catalysts for more BE 100s black investment banks to become involved in transactions with other iconic tech companies. Among the most notable: The participation of Loop Capital and Williams Capital in Hewlett-Packard’s $ 15 billion offering in 2015, enabling it to split into two companies, HP Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Loop Capital and CastleOak Securities serving as co-managers in a three-tranche, $ 3.5 billion bond offering of Apple. Inc. in 2016; and this year Williams Capital’s inclusion in the underwriting pool of the $ 28 billion IPO of Snap Inc., the parent company of the mobile app Snapchat—the firm, however, represented only one of two minority firms involved in the transaction.

Loop Capital’s Chairman and CEO James R. Reynolds told BE of such transactions: “For corporate finance, Silicon Valley is one of the biggest things that’s out there right now. Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Uber…that is a frontier that’s huge.”

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

45 Great Moments in Black Business–No. 26: Parks Sausage Returns to Black Ownership With $4 Million Buyout

This year, BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses-The BE 100s.  To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestones moments.  As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

Today we reveal No. 26 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

1981: Raymond V. Haysbert, Sr. and the management team of Parks Sausage Co, launched by the legendary African American entrepreneur Henry Parks, execute the first leveraged buyout of a historically black-owned company. After Parks Sausage declined under white ownership between 1977 and 1982, Haysbert and his team bought the company for $ 4 million, returning it to the BE 100s.

 

(Black Enterprise Magazine, Sept. 1996)

 

When it comes to taking a round trip in black entrepreneurship, probably few executives knew that voyage better than Raymond V. Haysbert, Sr. In a gutsy deal, while serving as CEO of Parks Sausage, Haysbert and his colleagues acquired the company after it had been controlled by white investors.

The cycle began in 1977 when H.G. Parks Inc. Founder and CEO Henry G. Parks sold his sausage manufacturer to Norin Corp. for $ 5 million, more than double its value on the NASDAQ stock exchange, as reported in BLACK ENTERPRISE. The transaction, very lucrative for Parks, was the start of a bleak period for the iconic company.

 

(Henry Green Parks, Jr. Image: Sept 1996)

 

 

The merger was not a good marriage as Norin was unable to continue its 25-year run of record profitability, largely hurt by rising operating expenses and withdrawal of $ 2 million in accumulated cash, according to a June 1981 BLACK ENTERPRISE article. “There was a certain amount of deterioration,” Parks told BE regarding control under what he called the “Norin Regime” during those years. “We had hoped it would have been a springboard to a bigger plateau-to expand the company beyond what we could do. But it just didn’t pan out.”

In 1981, after sales plunged, Parks Sausage was sold to Haysbert and other company executives who formed Parks Acquisition to amass the company’s $ 4 million in assets. The buyout came after Norin was acquired by Canadian Pacific, according to BLACK ENTERPRISE.

Among Haysbert’s greatest feats before his death in 2010 was running and owning one of America’s most successful black-owned businesses. Plus, he oversaw a leveraged buyout before most folks even knew what the transaction was.

He was recruited by Henry Parks, an original member of the BLACK ENTERPRISE Advisory Board, after the pioneering entrepreneur launched the Baltimore-based sausage manufacturer in 1951, Parks mortgaged his home to start the company and then struggled to succeed in the Jim Crow South. Parks and Haysbert teamed up in 1952 and began selling the meat products throughout the city. After suffering losses the first two years, Parks started cooking due to hard work and strategic focus. By 1955, the company grew to become a sponsor of the World Series. A decade later, it posted annual gross profits of $ 6 million by 1966 and $ 9 million in 1968. It was one of the first black-owned companies to go public in 1969.

 

 

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine)

 

By 1973, H. G. Parks, Inc.-its official corporate name at the time-made its debut on the first BE Top 100 roster at No. 8, grossing $ 13.8 million in revenues, and remained among the 10 largest black-owned companies until its sale to Norin in 1977. A year after returning to black ownership, the renamed Parks Sausage Co. was ranked No. 29 on the 1983 Top 100, producing $ 19 million in gross revenues.

The company was a household name, famous for its jingle, “More Parks Sausages, Mom … Please.” By the mid-1980s, Parks Sausage was making about $ 30 million a year. Henry Parks would see his company return to its former glory before his death in 1989.

 

 

 

Haysbert became more influential during this growth period, serving on several boards of directors, including the Baltimore Federal Reserve. But by the mid-1990s, plagued by flagging sales and heavy debt, Baltimore’s largest black-owned manufacturer began to tumble. It was forced for the fourth time to seek a buyer. A deal to sell to two investors tied to TLC Beatrice International collapsed as the buyers couldn’t gain financing, Parks Sausage Chairman Haysbert told The Baltimore Sun in 1996.

The company’s balance sheet, with about $ 7.8 million in debt, made selling to any buyer a much tougher proposition. A new, big factory for Parks Sausage proved too great an expense for the business it was taking in. Haysbert, who then owned the company with his son Reginald, maintained that its finances grew worse since he moved the factory from its longtime home near Camden Yards ballpark to a fresh $ 16 million factory at Parks Circle in 1990. Plus, Parks Sausage lost Pizza Hut and Domino’s Pizza, two of its biggest sausage customers. Annual sales fell from about $ 28 million in 1990 to $ 20.5 million in June 1995.

After filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy and being forced to close, Parks Sausage was sold to former NFL great Franco Harris, the majority owner of Pittsburgh-based Super Bakery Inc., in September 1997 for $ 1.7 million. By 1999, Parks Sausage’s factory-not its name or product line-was acquired by Philadelphia-based Dietz & Watson Inc. Parks Sausage President Lydell Mitchell, the former Baltimore Colt star, told the media.

 

 

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, Sept 1996)

 

 

That sale ended the storied history of a celebrated black institution.

 

 

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 29: Ariel Investments’ $16 Billion Milestone

Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments

This year BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestones moments. We now resume this tribute with the continuation of our yearlong countdown.  

Today we reveal No. 29 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

2003: Ariel Investments, No. 1 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list and the first black money manager to launch a family of mutual funds, achieves an investment milestone when 17 major corporations select its mutual funds for their 401(k) plans.

Led by Ariel founder, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer John W. Rogers Jr., the firm broke new ground with that landmark achievement despite a hypercompetitive environment and greater compliance pressure from the newly enacted Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. Due to the relentless efforts of Rogers, Mellody Hobson, the firm’s president, and the rest of the team, Ariel snared new accounts while applying a value investment style to produce hefty returns for individual and institutional investors. The results: Assets under management grew in 2003 to $ 16.1 billion, an explosive 58% increase from the previous year.

(John Rogers, center, with Mellody Hobson. Image: File)

 

Rogers, listed among BE’s Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street, has broken barriers in the nation’s asset management industry and helped paved the way for other African Americans to gain entry into a business dominated by non-diverse firms.

A New Approach to Investing

 

Like the tortoise of Aesop’s fable, he took a slow-and-steady approach to investing in undervalued small and medium-sized companies over the long term and has built wealth for investors, including millions of African Americans. It was an approach that was in contrast to many of his growth-oriented peers as Rogers would recount in an April 1992 BLACK ENTERPRISE cover story.

The journey for Rogers began in 1983 when he launched Ariel Capital Management, now Ariel Investments. In that 1992 BLACK ENTERPRISE article, Rogers, who worked more than two years for the brokerage firm William Blair, used a connection to gain his first account: $ 100,000 investment from the Howard University endowment fund.  He also developed The Patient Investor, a newsletter describing his stock-picking philosophy —complete with a picture of a tortoise and the “slow and steady” tagline gracing its cover. Due to his performance, assets under management grew to $ 2 million by 1986.

(John Rogers. Image: File)

 

As Rogers built his mutual fund family—the first was Ariel Fund—he brought on Calvert Group Inc., a financial services company, in 1986 to serve as the distributor and transfer agent. Yet eight years later, in a bold move to gain independence, he paid $ 4 million to separate from Calvert and assumed responsibility for all operations. “We went from managing $ 2.3 billion to $ 1.1 billion over a short period of time, and it was extraordinarily uncomfortable and frightening,” Rogers told BE at the time.  

Steering Through the Great Recession

 

Ariel persevered through such rough patches and learned valuable lessons from business volatility and severe market downturns, including the financial crisis in 2009. Rogers, an investment icon and former captain of the basketball team when he attended Princeton University, has repeatedly demonstrated his resilience. In 2010, Crain’s Chicago Business reported Ariel emerged from the financial crisis with its best performance ever.

The firm’s flagship Ariel Fund rose 56% for the past 12 months, beating the 38% average rise for rivals, according to investment rating firm Morningstar. Most recently, as of Sept. 30, 2017, the Ariel Fund produced an annualized return of 11.34% since its Nov. 6, 1986, inception date, according to Ariel’s website. That compares with the same period for the Russell 2500 Value Index, a 10.86% return for the Russell 2500 Index, and a 10.32% return for the S&P 500 Index.

With offices in New York and Sydney, the Chicago-based Ariel offers investors six no-load mutual funds and nine separate accounts, and as of Feb. 28, 2017, the firm reported assets under management of $ 11.5 billion.

Fierce Diversity Advocate

 

When not operating Ariel, Rogers and Hobson have been active in the business, philanthropic, and social fronts. For instance, Rogers, a board member of McDonald’s Corp. and Exelon Corp., and Hobson, who serves on the boards of Starbucks Corp. and Estée Lauder Cos., can be found on the BLACK ENTERPRISE Registry of Corporate Directors. As such, they represent some of the fiercest advocates for diversity in corporate governance.

black directors

 

Despite the milestone that Ariel achieved some 14 years ago, Rogers is still actively fighting for greater opportunities for black firms to gain access to opportunities to manage corporate, pension fund, and endowment dollars. According to a 2015 Wall Street Project Asset Management study released at the annual summit created by civil rights leader Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, minority firms have been unable to gain a foothold in a sector in which assets under management totaled a whopping $ 68.7 trillion and profits grew to $ 93 billion in 2013. Using data from the BE ASSET MANAGERS list, the study further revealed that top black firms manage a total of $ 118.4 billion in assets—a mere 0.3% of the total $ 36 trillion in domestic institutional assets under management. Rogers believes greater boardroom diversity will make the difference in the creation of a more equitable asset management selection process.

It is fitting, however, that Ariel has been able and will continue to break barriers in asset management, in great part, due to Rogers’ vision, tenacity, and investment prowess. In 2013, he was featured with legendary investors Warren Buffett, Sir John Templeton, and Benjamin Graham in the book, The World’s 99 Greatest Investors.

 

 

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 27: Don Barden’s $149 Million Acquisition of Three Vegas Casinos

This year, BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 4th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestones moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

Today we reveal No. 27 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

2002: With the acquisition of three Fitzgeralds casinos for $ 149 million, Don Barden becomes the first African American to wholly own a casino in the nation’s gambling capital.

Rising from meager beginnings to become a self-made multimillionaire African American entrepreneur, the late Don Barden was a trailblazer in America’s gaming industry.

First-Ever Black Vegas Casino Operator

 

Barden made history when one of his companies acquired three Fitzgeralds casinos for $ 149 million, making him the first black to own casino operations in Las Vegas. The transaction placed his gaming enterprise in the industry’s largest U.S. market and at the same time, broke barriers within the sector.

Barden added to his empire—he had already owned casinos in Gary, Indiana; Tunica, Mississippi; and Black Hawk, Colorado—by purchasing the Fitzgeralds properties from bankruptcy court. In fact, Barden used $ 14 million of his own money and raised $ 150 million from 40 institutional investors to seal the deal and upgrade operations.

 

The daring entrepreneur’s big gamble paid off.  It bumped revenues of Barden Cos. Inc., placing it among the top 25 of BE Industrial/Service Companies in the early 2000s. Observers hailed Barden’s move as a major victory in bringing much-needed diversity to the industry. “It has the same ramification [for the Las Vegas gaming industry] that Jackie Robinson had to baseball,” Gene Collins, president of the Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP told the Las Vegas Sun at the time.” It opens all sorts of opportunities for African Americans because someone has to be first.”

First African American to Build an Urban-Based Cable TV Company

 

Making history was nothing new for Barden. In addition to being the first African American to own a casino corporation outright, he beat the odds by controlling multimillion-dollar companies in other industries that locked out blacks from ownership participation. As such, he would become the first black businessman to build a cable TV system for urban markets as well as a major player in commercial estate development over the course of his 40-year career.

He shared his deal-making philosophy in the BLACK ENTERPRISE book, Lessons From The Top: “I have learned to look for businesses that make money while I sleep. I like to acquire any business that doesn’t require an exorbitant amount of time and capital to turn it around. Yet, I want to be able to expand the core businesses. I have been able to do that with real estate, cable, and gaming. If you find viable businesses with solid management, you are not drained by the day-to-day operations. You can scope out other opportunities.”

The ninth of 13 children raised in Inkster, Michigan, he attended Central State University in Ohio with the goal of pursuing a legal career. But he ultimately turned to entrepreneurship. His first venture was a record store that he opened in Lorain, Ohio, at the age of 21 with $ 500 in savings. From there, he launched several businesses, including a real estate development firm, a nightclub, and a weekly newspaper, The Lorain County Times, in Lorain. He was also Lorain’s first elected black city council member.

 

(Barden featured in Black Enterprise magazine, May 1998)

 

By 1981, Barden bought an interest in a cable television station in Lorain and formed Barden Communications Inc. He expanded his cable system to include communities in his hometown of Inkster and the Detroit metro area, growing gross revenues from $ 600,000 to $ 91.2 million in a decade. By 1992, BCI earned the No. 5 position on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 and BE 100s Company of the Year honors—for the first time. By 1994, he sold the company to Comcast Cable in 1994 for more than $ 100 million.

Two years later, he ventured into the casino gaming industry when he acquired and operated the Majestic Star Casino, a riverboat casino in Gary, Indiana. After an unsuccessful bid to buy a casino in Detroit, he acquired the Fitzgeralds properties. In 2003, BLACK ENTERPRISE named Barden Cos. as Company of the Year—the only entrepreneur to receive such recognition in two different industries within a 10-year span.

But not all of Barden’s ventures were proven winners. In 2009, the Majestic Star Casino was forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

Such setbacks, however, did not keep BLACK ENTERPRISE from heralding his myriad accomplishments. As part of its 40th-anniversary celebration in 2010—a year before Barden’s untimely death due to complications from lung cancer—it ranked him No. 21 on the roster of “Titans: The 40 Most Powerful African Americans in Business.” That same year, he also received the A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award, BE‘s top honor for business excellence. Barden left a legacy for being one of the most honored and respected black business leaders of his generation, and mentor to several generations of black professionals and entrepreneurs.

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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The Best Stranger Things Season 2 Moments in 10 Memes

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Stranger Things.

Binging your way through Stranger Things season 2 is an emotional, mind-expanding experience that may or may not lead to Eleven-esque nose bleeds.

Fortunately for us, the new season lightened the eerie mood with some very divine comedy. All of it was of course, very meme-able for superfans. If you’re looking for a recap of everything that happened in Stranger Things season 2 finale, we’ve got you covered. But here’s a quick rundown of some of the best moments from Stranger Things season 2 told through a very post-1984 medium: memes on Twitter.

1. We find out that Chief Jim Hopper rescued Eleven at the end of last season and she now lives with him in a cabin in the woods and enjoys Eggo towers. She hates that she’s not allowed to leave because it’s too risky, but this duo just works.

2. Dustin adopts a cute critter he names Dart who turns out to be a monstrous cat-killing demon, so Dustin puts on hockey goalie gear and tries to trap it. He fails, but when they run into each other in the finale, Dart remembers how much he trusts Dustin and loves his candy supply. So it decides not to kill him and all his friends.

R.I.P. Mews

3. We learn Eleven and Mike have been checking in on each other all the time since she took on the Demogorgon in the season 1 finale. When Eleven drops in on Hawkins Middle, she sees Max trying to get Mike to accept her into the group because he was not having it. Eleven notices Mike smile as he opens up to the idea of Max’s right to exist. This happens.

4. Jonathan continues to teach Will that being a misfit is the coolest.

5. As fans hoped, Nancy and Jonathan got together after they teamed up in the Justice for Barb mission.

6. Thanks to a message from her mother Terry Ives, Eleven finally found and met her long-lost roommate Kali. In the seventh episode, she finds her in Chicago where she learns more about her powers and herself.

She got a new look to match her new ‘tude.

7. Steve became the best version of himself, showing a lot of kindness as he bravely helped all the kids through the tunnel and gave Dustin the 101 on dating.

8. After winning Joyce’s heart, decoding Will’s map and gaming the Hawkins Lab security system, Bob gets ripped apart by not one but several Demodogs in the penultimate episode. It was heartbreaking.

9. Eleven successfully closes the gate after a reunion at the Byers.

10. Eleven and Mike have a sweet Snow Ball reunion because good things come to those who wait. (At the same time, the master monster’s looming over the Upside Down version of the middle school, but this moment still wins.)


Entertainment – TIME

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45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 28: Berry Gordy Sells Motown Records

This year BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses – The BE 100s.  To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestones moments.  As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

Today we reveal No. 28 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

1988: Berry Gordy sells Motown Records, which created “The Sound That Changed America” and held the No. 1 position on The BE 100s for a decade after its inception.

 

(Berry Gordy. Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, October 1970)

 

A high school dropout and factory worker who evolved into a phenomenal businessman, Berry Gordy built Motown Records into one of the most successful black-owned music companies in U.S. history. Its roster of timeless artists included Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Commodores and a myriad of other well-known acts.

For roughly 30 years, Gordy brought soul music to the mainstream. An “irresistible force of social and cultural change, Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown made its mark not just on the music industry but society at large,” according to motownmuseum.org. As such, the company grew into the largest black-owned business in the nation from the 1960s throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.

 

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; October, 1970)

 

By the mid-1980s, however, independent Motown Records was hemorrhaging money as it tried to survive in an industry dominated by multinational conglomerates that were gobbling up talent and market share. Among the major setbacks was the loss of major artists like Michael Jackson and Diana Ross to such labels as CBS/Epic Records and RCA Records, respectively. As a result of these industrial shifts, music industry icon Gordy was forced to sell Motown for $ 61 million to MCA Inc. and Boston Ventures Limited Partnership in 1988.

 

Paving the Way for Future Black Music Executives

 

Gordy kept other Motown subsidiaries including the highly profitable Jobete Music Co., and Motown’s film and television production unit, producer of TV specials like Motown’s 25th Anniversary in 1983 and the critically acclaimed 1989 miniseries, Lonesome Dove. In 1997, Gordy sold 50% of Jobete to EMI Music Publishing for $ 132 million, then viewed as one of the most significant music publishing deals ever. In 2003, EMI acquired another 30% of Jobete for $ 110 million and the remaining 20% in 2004 for about $ 80 million, ending Gordy’s stake in Motown.

 

(Suzanne de Passe. Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; June, 1974)

 

Before selling, Gordy was lauded as a talented songwriter and innovator who established a business model for entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry. Observers say Gordy helped pave the way for other industry giants like Russell Simmons and Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Gordy formed his empire in 1959, guiding its operations from a Detroit house known as “Hitsville U.S.A.”  As BLACK ENTERPRISE reported in a series of profiles throughout the years, he started with an $ 800 loan he received from his family’s Ber-Berry Co-operative. The co-op was the brainchild of his eldest sister Esther, and it provided seed money for the establishment of Berry’s first record company, Tamla, in 1959. It became Motown Record Corp. in 1960. Beyond producing a series of hit records, Motown’s motion pictures division also broke ground; Its 1972 breakout film, Lady Sings the Blues, starring Diana Ross as Billie Holiday, garnered five Academy Award nominations.

 

Motown Debuts as a Black Enterprise BE 100

 

In 1973, BLACK ENTERPRISE started its annual ranking of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses, and Motown debuted at the No. 1 spot, grossing $ 40 million in revenues and holding that position on every list until 1983 when the company grossed $ 91.7 million in revenues. Motown lost the title of list leader in 1984 when Johnson Publishing Co., publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines and producer of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, took the top spot. Motown would make its last appearance on the 1988 list.

Under Gordy’s watch, Motown churned out hundreds of hit singles. In 1966, the company’s hit ratio, the percentage of records released that made the national charts, reached 75%-an incredible figure. Gordy was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, recognized for his musical genius.

 

Lifetime Achievement

 

In 2000, Gordy set up the Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fund to help former Motown artists, musicians, and writers from the 1960s and 1970s with financial assistance. He donated $ 750,000 to the charity, named in memory of his deceased sister, Gwendolyn.

Over the years, Gordy’s musical genius and entrepreneurial prowess also garnered numerous awards. In 2001, he received the A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award, BLACK ENTERPRISE’s highest honor for business achievement.  Last year, President Obama included him among the 2015 National Medal of Arts recipients. The citation read: “To Berry Gordy, for helping to create a trailblazing new sound in American music. As a record producer and songwriter, he helped build Motown, launching the music careers of countless legendary artists. His unique sound helped shape our nation’s story.”

 

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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‘The Walking Dead:’ The Most Irksome Moments from the Season 8 Premiere

It’s taken eight years for AMC to reach the 100th episode of The Walking Dead, and I can’t help but feel a bit let down. Don’t get me wrong, it was an okay episode, much better than some that have aired in the past (cough Season 2, Episode 4 cough), though it didn’t stop me from being peeved by those dumb moments that just didn’t make any sense. I hope you can bear with me here while I rant about some of the parts that just annoyed me.

When Did They Suddenly Become Ninjas?



Okay, this was sort of a minor issue, but it still got on my nerves. In the beginning, we see Rick, Morgan, and the others stealthily take out the Savior scouts along the road. Now, I don’t have personal experience sneaking up on someone and stabbing a giant sharp stick into their back or anything, but I feel that it’s not as easy as they showed it. The scouts seemed like oblivious NPCs from like Fallout 3 or Skyrim the way they were so easily taken out; it was a little ridiculous. Throughout the series, I always had a major gripe with how silent and ninja-like the zombies are when they’re constantly sneaking up on people (I mean, really, they’re loud walking corpses 😕).

How Fast Are Those Zombies Anyway?



Their whole plan throughout the episode was to attract hordes of zombies to Negan’s base, overrun it, and basically render it defenseless. We can see Daryl, Carol and the Twizzler girl (Tara) setting off a bunch of explosions to get the horde trudging in the direction of Negan’s base. Now, it’s a pretty good plan in theory, however when you mix in a bit of The Walking Dead “reality” there is one flaw with it: zombies are freaking slow. Seriously this isn’t World War Z. It would have taken them weeks to get as far as they did. I understand there was a time jump, so maybe they’ve been attracting those zombies for a long time to prepare for the moment they carry out their attack. Yet I still feel like that wouldn’t make sense, I don’t think Rick and the rest of the gang would have spent weeks gathering all these zombies and consistently keep on attracting them until they were close enough to reach Negan. I guess I don’t completely comprehend how these walking flesh bags work in the show.

Aren’t Bullets Scarce as Hell?

There are too many scenes in this episode where they just unload a crap ton of bullets for no reason. There is the scene where Carol and her cronies sneak up (again sneaked) on some Savior by his car, then proceed to unload on the one guy when he hides behind his car. Then, when they have their little showdown with Negan (I’ll get to that later, trust me), when Rick decides to start shooting, everyone begins firing. They go crazy shooting at these windows in Negan’s base and it was completely baffling. I was thinking to myself, “What the hell are they shooting at?” and “Are the Saviors shooting back at them?” Please help me understand, because in such a dangerous setting where supplies are so low and rare to find, wouldn’t bullets be the first thing you would want to conserve? They must have gotten their hands-on Herschel’s infinite ammo cheat.

WHY DIDN’T RICK JUST SHOOT NEGAN!!!???



Seriously! The guy was right there the whole time throughout his freaking monologue and all Rick had to was a line up a shot then BAM, problem solved! Rick could have also hidden a marksman in trees or bushes to get a clear shot at Negan and then put a bullet in the dude’s skull. Now, I know that it would’ve been anti-climactic to just kill the archenemy in the very first episode of the season, fans would’ve been pissed off by that and I can understand why. Though this whole scene with them having their little stare down was just so ridiculous. I was just watching that scene carry out the whole time and yelling at the screen, “Do it! Do it, Rick! He’s right there! Just do it already!” I felt like I was channeling Shia LaBeouf. But alas it didn’t happen, and we now have to wait another 18 episodes of The Walking Dead for that to hopefully happen because Rick couldn’t stop to think how easily he could have taken him out.

I know it’s the first episode of the season and hopefully it picks up a little momentum. It’s just that this premiere was filled with a lot of annoying irritating parts that made it kinda hard to enjoy. However, I will say though that I enjoyed the future/dream moments of old man Rick. I thought they were well done and I’m excited on what they will plan to do with that plotline next. It’s just because of those other head-scratching moments that I don’t list this as a top episode in The Walking Dead series.

‘The Walking Dead’: Grown-up Judith Spurs Character Death Theories

The post ‘The Walking Dead:’ The Most Irksome Moments from the Season 8 Premiere appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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New ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Trailer: Check Out All The Best Moments

New ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Trailer: Check Out All The Best Moments

The new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is here, and it is dark. We have been expecting another intense installment for the centerpiece of this trilogy, a la The Empire Strikes Back, but who knew the advertising would tease so much potential loss and tragedy for the Resistence? Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is concerned. General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) seems afraid. Rey (Daisy Ridley) looks torn. 

Here are some of the highlights of the trailer, our favorite…

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The little parenting moments you didn’t know you’d miss

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

I am, decidedly, done having kids.

After I had my third, I remember talking to my mom and saying, “Wellll…I’m not sure if we’re done or not.” She responded, “Ohhh. You’ll know.” She was right. I had our fourth and my husband and I looked at each other and just knew. We love them all, we’re glad we had each and every one of them, and… we’re done now.

So I view everything my youngest does, knowing that I will never have another baby or toddler or kid who does these things. We experience every milestone knowing it’s going to be the last time we do these things. And after doing them all four times, it’s hard to know there won’t be any more.

I did expect this, of course. I expected to get sentimental over her first steps, and first words, and first days of school. Everyone expects that. Our kindergarten even has a “Tea and Tissues” morning when parents send their babies off to school for the first time. So it shocked me that those weren’t the moments that made me well up inside and get teary and wistful. The moments I miss…I didn’t even know were moments at the time.

I miss going to adventure. 

I miss sitting in the purple swing at the park, reading library books at 10 in the morning.

I miss eating lunch with whichever kids were young enough to be home from school at the time.

I miss hearing someone lisp “vegpitals” instead of “vegetables.”

I miss The Naked Dance that every single one of my kids decided was necessary before bathtime when they were two.

I miss people waking me up at 6:20 in the morning to ask me whether lobsters have brains.

My husband was baffled when we came home from a minor school performance — it wasn’t the big end-of-the-year show, it was a low-key Thanksgiving celebration with a song or two — and I lost it. I sat at the kitchen table and had a good, long cry and I can’t explain why that small event hit me so much harder than the bigger ones. Maybe because big events aren’t common. The small things that stop happening remind me that life as a whole is changing.

“Great news, Mom! We get to keep the kazoos from our performance!!” Okay, maybe I don’t miss the kazoo…

This is a good thing. I love watching how my children are growing, and the talents and activities they’re discovering, and the passions they’re developing. I don’t want to go back.

But every once in a while, I just need to miss the little people they used to be and have a good cry about it all.

Are there any little moments you miss that surprised you?

Images by Laura Falin

 

The post The little parenting moments you didn't know you'd miss appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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The Top 10 OMG Moments from Season 2 | Greenleaf | Oprah Winfrey Network

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The 5 Most Heart-Wrenching Anime Moments Guaranteed to Make You Cry

The mark of a good anime is one that makes you feel — it sucks you in and makes you feel what the characters are feeling and makes you feel what the creator is trying to portray. When those moments are so overwhelmingly heartbreaking — as they often are in anime — there’s nothing more you can do but watch and let the tears flow. So, here are five of the most emotional moments in anime that will make you cry.

Warning: Spoilers

Nabari No Ou



Nabari No Ou is about the world of the ninja hiding in plain sight. But it’s not all fun and games. It tells the story of Miharu Rokujou and Yoite who team up to protect the mysterious entity known as Shinra Banshou that Miharu holds inside of him.

This anime has scenes aplenty that bring on the waterworks. What particularly does it for me is the second ending theme. It’s set to the tune of “Aru Ga Mama” by Anamu and Maki and the visuals are of Yoite and Miharu traveling together. The song, along with the visuals, brings a sense of melancholy and peacefulness. I can’t help but get a little teary eyed watching it.

Naruto


Sasuke puts his life on the line to protect Naruto during their fight with Haku.

One of the most well known and beloved anime, Naruto, is funny, serious, and full of heart. It’s about a young ninja in training named Naruto Uzumaki who works to earn the respect of his village while meeting his goal of becoming the village leader.

The first scene that did it for me was when Sasuke sacrificed himself to protect Naruto. It was the first time we really saw how much they valued each other as best friends despite their rivalry.

Persona 4: The Animation


Nanako and Dojima finally make amends

Persona 4: The Animation is a great adaption of the game Persona 4. It tells the story of a young man who transfers from his school in the city to the country town of Yasoinaba. There he’s faced with a murder investigation, new friends trying to overcome their insecurities, and a hostile TV world. It perfectly portrays the heart, humor, and fun of the video game.

Although this originally takes place in the game, it hits much harder in the anime adaption. The moment when Nanako talks about how she feels like her father doesn’t really love her because he’s always working is absolutely heartbreaking. It’s a look into how a lack of communication can lead to a break in a child-parent bond. he scenes of Nanako in the hospital where it appears she succumbs to her illness are incredibly heart wrenching as well. To see a small little girl scared and in pain is like a kick to the chest.

Another heart-wrenching moment from the anime is when Nanako is in the hospital where it appears she succumbs to her illness. To see a little girl so scared and in pain is like a kick to the chest.

Clannad/Clannad After Story


Tomoya wouldn’t trade knowing Nagisa for anything.

Clannad is one of my favorite animes and I wholeheartedly recommend people watch it. It tells the story of a young delinquent named Tomoya Okazaki and how he navigates life and builds bonds with the people around him, most notably Nagisa Furukawa and her parents.

At the end of Clannad After Story, Tomoya makes a wish that sends him back to the first moment he met Nagisa. He could let her walk away, meaning they never meet. But instead, he calls out to her, rushing to hug her. It’s an acknowledgment that the hardships they face were worth it because he knows what it’s like to be in love and have a family with her.

Fruits Basket


Momiji makes a decision.

Fruits Basket is about a young girl named Tohru Honda who is living in the woods after the death of her mother. On the way to school, she meets a man named Shigure Sohma who is the older cousin of her classmate Yuki Sohma. After a mudslide wipes out the tent she lives in, Tohru starts living with the family, including hot head Kyo.

Momiji’s speech about carrying his memories with him no matter how hard they may hurt him stands out. It’s even more touching when you know that he’s talking about his mother having her memories of him erased. To go through that and have the courage to still be optimistic is inspiring and touching, and will always make you cry.

The post The 5 Most Heart-Wrenching Anime Moments Guaranteed to Make You Cry appeared first on Fandom powered by Wikia.

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ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 30: Earl Graves Sr. and Magic Johnson Close $60 Million Deal to Create Largest Black Pepsi Franchise

For the 45th Anniversary of the BE 100s—the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—we share 45 milestone events that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This tribute salutes the iconic companies and CEOs found on BE‘s annual list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 30 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

1990: BE Publisher Graves and Earvin “Magic” Johnson partner with Pepsi-Cola to establish Pepsi-Cola of Washington, D.C. L.P., creating the nation’s largest minority-controlled Pepsi bottling franchise.

(Earl Graves Sr. and “Magic” Johnson. Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, October 1990)

 

It was an all-star joint venture between the founder and publisher of the nation’s pre-eminent black business publication; an NBA superstar with entrepreneurial aspirations; and one of the world’s largest beverage giants. When BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s Earl G. Graves Sr. and Magic Johnson completed the $ 60 million transaction to own a Pepsi franchise in July 1990, their achievement became the deal-making choice of a new generation; growth through partnership and acquisition. For good reason: Graves and Johnson’s milestone added some new fizz to the BE 100s as the new entity, Pepsi-Cola of Washington, DC L.P., ranked No. 19 with $ 44 million in revenues upon its debut on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 in June 1992. (To make the BE 100s rankings, a new company with at least 51% black ownership must be in operation for a full calendar year.)

As you would expect, BE had the inside scoop on the evolution of this sweet deal. Here’s the edited October 1990 account as reported by writer Fred Martin:

For Earl G. Graves, Sr. the road to acquiring a soft drink franchise began not in a plush corner office but 35,000 feet in the air.

In January 1988, the 53-year-old Graves was traveling by plane en route to a speaking engagement when he struck up a conversation with his seatmate, a senior-level Pepsi-Cola executive, After both men exchanged routine pleasantries, Graves showed him a copy of BE. After familiarizing himself with the magazine, the soft drink manager told Graves that Pepsi had been looking to do business with a prominent black businessman. Two years later, Craig E. Weatherup, then-president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola Co.—not the executive on the plane—announced creation of the largest-minority-controlled Pepsi-Cola franchise in the country.

In a move exemplifying the growth of African American business at the time, Graves and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the Los Angeles Lakers veteran, officially entered the $ 40 billion soft drink business by teaming up to purchase Pepsi-Cola of Washington D.C., a Forestville, Maryland sales distribution facility serving the District of Columbia and a small area of Prince Georges County, Maryland. The $ 60 million deal marked only the second time in 20 years that Pepsi had brought new ownership to its franchise network. At the time, the only other black-owned Pepsi franchise was a Houghton, Michigan-based enterprise owned by Dr. William Harvey, president of Hampton University.

 

 

This is a unique venture,” said Weatherup, “one that we’ve been discussing and evaluating over two years. Earl and Earvin bring more to it than just their knowledge and their expertise. They bring their experience. Their stature and the unique position they occupy as role models for the black community.”

Graves and Johnson, CEO and executive vice president, respectively, were responsible for the new company’s operations, strategic planning and general management. Pepsi-Cola was a limited partner in the venture. Graves remained BE‘s publisher while he spent a significant amount of time in the Washington metro running his franchise. In terms of the partnership, Graves owned more than 65% while Johnson held more than a 30% stake and both had the right of first refusal for other purchases. Pepsi remained a limited partner and its equity stake could change, opening up possibility for a greater share of the operation for Graves and Johnson.

The plant, which sat on a 6.1-acre plot, had about 160 employees, its own sales staff and a fleet of trucks. It distributed soft drink brands such as Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Mandarin Orange Slice and Mug Root. Key accounts included the White House, the U.S. Capitol and Air Force One.

(Graves to the left of Sen. Bill Bradley. Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, October 1990)

 

The idea of buying a franchise was nothing new to Graves. For several years he investigated several potential candidates and chose the Pepsi franchise, which sold 4.3 million cans of soda annually, because the company had market presence, solid leadership and spent $ 325 million with minority vendors between 1982 and 1992.

Sealing the deal was not easy. The “tough but fair” negotiations, which began in 1988, continued right up until the announcement in July 1992. During the lengthy talks, the principals got to know each other well. “When I would receive telephone calls at 6:30 a.m. on Sundays,” recalls Weatherup. “My wife would say, ‘It must be Earl.’  

Finding the right partner is also key to any successful joint venture. Graves knew he had his man in Magic Johnson, the 30-year-old three-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Johnson was a man with resources of his own and a stellar reputation o—and off—the court. Johnson’s association with the Pepsi trademark was a major plus since he had great appeal in black and white communities.

Graves and Johnson met in 1988 at New York City’s 21 Club to talk business. “I was looking for someone who was mature and committed to making this business venture a success,” Graves said. The two hit it off and shook hands on the deal. Two years later the franchise deal was done. For Johnson, he was eager to work with the publisher: “This is an opportunity to learn some business magic from Earl Graves.” 

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, January 1992)

 

Pepsi-Cola of Washington, DC was BE 100s leader for several years until Pepsi-Cola engaged in buybacks of its bottling operations. In 1999, Graves sold a majority stake in the franchise. But he still maintained a strong relationship with the soft drink giant, which served as a title sponsor for the popular Black Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge—an event that brought African American movers and shakers together for recreation and power networking—over two decades. Graves held a prominent position on the company’s minority business advisory board and served as general partner of Egoli Beverages L. P., a short-lived Pepsi-Cola franchise in South Africa.

As for Johnson, he often cites Graves as one of his mentors. Since the franchise’s formation, his business career has been effervescent. Through partnerships with powerful brands such as AMC Theaters, Starbucks, TGI Friday’s and L.A. Dodgers, the prolific entrepreneur he has built a diversified commercial empire over the past 25 years. These successful ventures, in turn, have made Johnson an MVP in business.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 31: John H. Johnson’s Enduring Lessons on Growing Black Businesses

For the 45th Anniversary of the BE 100s—the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—we share 45 milestone events that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This tribute salutes the iconic companies and CEOs found on BE‘s annual list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 31 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.”

1987: John H. Johnson is named the first BE Entrepreneur of the Decade, having built Johnson Publishing Co. Inc., producers of Ebony, Jet, and Fashion Fair cosmetics into an international powerhouse.

(John H. Johnson on the cover of the June 1987 issue of Black Enterprise)

On occasion, I have been asked which interviews have been among my favorites during my tenure at BLACK ENTERPRISE. Without equivocation, the one that has brought great pride was my three-hour session with BE‘s first Entrepreneur of the Decade in our June 1987 issue: the iconic John Harold Johnson, founder, chairman. publisher and CEO of Johnson Publishing Co. Inc. His enduring example continues to inspire legions of black entrepreneurs to this day.

As an eager young man, Johnson got his start when his mother used her furniture as collateral for a $ 500 loan to start his first publication, Negro Digest, in 1942, which served as the launching pad for him to create the largest African American publishing company in the world. Seemingly, there wasn’t a single African American household in late 20th century America in which you could not find a copy of Ebony or Jet on the coffee table. And to share the impact his publications had, one can point to a powerful example that predates his inclusion on the BE 100s by roughly two decades that BE shared in our October 2005 tribute on this legendary force:

In September 1955, Johnson made a decision that forever shook the world. Not one to vacillate on any issue, he revealed to millions the mutilated corpse of Emmett Till, a Chicago youngster who had been bludgeoned and shot in Mississippi for reportedly whistling at a white woman. Readers found the heinous example of Jim Crow-brutality on the pages of Jet, Johnson’s 4-year-old weekly news digest. Shortly thereafter, other black publications followed Jet’s lead in publishing the photos. It galvanized clusters of African Americans nationwide to protest such senseless acts of violence. In one bold move, the determined 37-year-old publisher helped launch the civil rights movement.

That was but one example of Johnson’s power. For six decades, he made full use of his wealth and influence to shape American history, while using his publications—primarily Jet and his flagship, Ebony—to cover the battle for civil rights and chronicle every major event that depicted the trials and triumphs of African Americans.

(Johnson with President Kennedy. Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, June 1987)

 

 

By 1987, when we fittingly honored him on the 15th anniversary of our rankings of the nation’s largest black businesses at a gala in downtown Manhattan, this rugged individualist had built an empire that touched the lives of millions through publications, radio stations, television programs, haircare and cosmetic products, and fashion shows. He also owned Supreme Life Insurance Co., his former employer and one of the nation’s largest black financial services firms listed on the BE INSURANCE COMPANIES list. In addition to his collection of enterprises, Johnson held a 20% stake in another iconic BE 100s company: Essence Communications Inc., publisher of the black women’s magazine Essence.

How did he do it? It took sweat, intellect, and moxie. When the company first appeared on our list in 1973, JPC grossed $ 23.1 million. In 1987, it had grown to an enterprise that grossed $ 173.5 million and employed 1,800 people. Despite its size and stature, it was still very much a family-owned business: His wife, Eunice, among other areas, ran the Fashion Fair cosmetics line, and his daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, rose through the ranks to eventually take its helm.

(Eunice Johnson with fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent. Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, June 1987)

 

To give you a sense of the acumen, philosophies, reflections and prescience of a business leader that we ranked No. 1 on BEs list of 40 Business Titans Who Shaped the World, I share excerpts of the interview I conducted 30 years ago. You’ll find that his perspectives is still relevant to black entrepreneurs today.

On running his business empire: I tend to be cautiously optimistic and I never get overconfident. I run scared every business day and use every legal means necessary to survive and grow.

On his mother’s influence: My mother had the greatest influence on my life. She gave me hope that one day, somehow, I would triumph. She gave me patience, which is absolutely necessary in business.

On how entrepreneurs should grow their businesses: I think it is very important not to look too far ahead. I always advise young people to dream small things, because small things can be achieved, and once you achieve a small dream and make a small success, it gives you confidence to go on to the next step.

(Johnson with his daughter. Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, June 1987)

 

On acquiring capital: I have never let the inability to get capital keep me from growing and surviving. I thought of all kinds of unique ways to survive. In the early days, when I could not get financing from a bank, I sold lifetime subscriptions for $ 100 each. Now that in effect is like selling stock except you don’t go through the Securities and Exchange Commission. White advertisers would not advertise with Ebony in the beginning and Ebony’s very survival was dependent on advertising so I started a group of mail-order companies and advertised in my own magazine. I sold anything I could to get enough capital to keep Ebony going and I used the first $ 50,000 I made as a down payment on my first major building.

On the value of diversification: I’ve created a kind of mini conglomerate in which each entity helps the other. I’ve developed Fashion Fair Cosmetics, which I advertise in the magazines. I’ve revitalized my haircare business to create another product line to advertise with myself and replace revenues I once received from haircare manufacturers. And I will continue advertising in my own catalog company. I’ve gone into radio broadcasting; I’ve started a syndicated weekly TV show called Ebony/Jet Showcase that is in approximately in 80 markets. And, if for any reason I don’t have adequate advertising to fill up all commercial slots then I can advertise my beauty products, my own radio station, or my TV show.

On targeting businesses to the black community: Every minority group that has succeeded in this country has used its own people as a power base. The Italians sold fruit from wagons. The Jews sold garments to each other in the garment district. The Koreans and Vietnamese have come in and taken businesses in the black community. We need the experience of selling to each other, then we can acquire companies to sell to everyone.

On management: I believe in hands-on, hands-in, hands-wrapped-around management in which you delegate freely and check on people every day. The most important thing a manager can learn is the ability to analyze a situation and quickly think his way out of it.

On getting black professionals to start ventures in black communities: Blacks have watched their colleagues go through training programs and manage line divisions while they are pushed off into community relations, personnel and similar staff areas. These young people who have not moved up are beginning to recognize that they’re never going to move up and that the only salvation for them is to control their own destiny and learn not to depend on the whims and attitudes of the corporate culture.

On the prospect of taking JPC public: I can’t see that because I have served on the board of public companies and you spend too much time worrying about takeovers. I sleep well at night as long as I can do more business, pay my bills, meet my payroll and not worry about someone taking me over. As a matter of fact, in my own way I tried to go public in the beginning but no one would invest in me. So when I finally made it in a private way, I said the hell with them.

On being named one of America’s toughest bosses: It’s a fact. I’m tough but I’m fair. You have to understand what tough means. Tough does not mean insulting people. Tough means that you hold people accountable.

On black businesses gaining government financing: I think the federal government ought to be concerned with the welfare of all its citizens; it fosters white capitalism, so why shouldn’t it foster black capitalism? You’d be surprised to learn how many white businesses and corporations receive subsidies from the government. Almost every major corporation in this country has a lobby in Washington. They are there to influence government to pass rules, regulations, and laws that foster, develop, and encourage capitalism that is essentially white capitalism…I think that the government should be in the vanguard of urging corporations to make capital available to minority businesses, and in cases where it does not succeed it should take responsibility for the loans itself.

On creating black venture capital firms: We need more well-trained, sharp, intelligent people going into business. And I think we need to go out to the marketplace more and secure capital from individual investors who will take a chance on viable ventures. When Supreme Life started in 1921, it took them two years to raise $ 100,000 from 5,000 people. These people pledged their homes, their businesses and insurance policies to raise enough money to buy stock. If these black businessmen were daring and bold enough to raise $ 100,000 in 1921, why couldn’t a group of intelligent young black MBAs or entrepreneurs raise that amount now to start a business?

On business people who inspired him: In a broad sense I admire any black man who succeeds. There are so many obstacles throughout life that I am surprised that black businessmen have done as well as they have. I guess I am inspired by every black man who meets payroll, every black man who continues to overcome barriers and beat the odds.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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“I’m Like Arya Stark”: All the Awkward Moments from Anthony Scaramucci’s Sit-Down with Stephen Colbert

There was not much “front-stabbing,” but you could cut the cringeworthy moments with a knife.

Stopping by The Late Show on Monday, Anthony Scaramucci chatted with Stephen Colbert to share his 11-day tenure at the White House and his current relationship with President Donald Trump.

We’re guessing The Mooch is a big fan of Game of Thrones as he answered many of Colbert’s questions with references from the hit HBO series.

Here are the highlights from the short-lived White House Communications Director’s interview:

1. “I’m like Arya Stark.”

Scaramucci’s first comments after arriving at his guest chair included a shout-out to Maisie WilliamsGoT character. “I’m like Arya Stark, I took a list of all your comedy writers for my kill list,” he told Colbert as the audience didn’t seem to laugh with the former Trump employee.

“So you’re comedically threatening to kill the people who work for me?” Colbert responded.

“I’m not allowed to joke anymore, I’ve learned that,” Scaramucci said in a follow-up to his Stark joke.

Towards the end of his interview, he made another go-around at his GoT bit, adding: “I’m Arya Stark with the comedy writers but a Lannister with my debts.”

2. “Nazis are super bad.”

In addition to joking about his remarks being “off the record” — a reference to his expletive-filled interview with a New Yorker reporter — Scaramucci repeated his criticism of the way Trump reacted to the protests in Charlottesville.

“He sometimes does the exact opposite . … Let’s be fair to be him, he did condemn the Nazis today,” Scaramucci said to Colbert after calling neo-Nazis and white supremacists “super bad.”

“Two days later! Does he order his spine on Amazon Prime? Why did it take so long?” Colbert asked Scaramucci about why it took Trump two days to strongly respond.

3. Trump is “a super compassionate person.”

Though the president fired him as communications director in late July, just 11 days into his post, Scaramucci is still deeply devoted to Trump.

“It was super rough on me, it’s super rough on ,” Scaramucci said about being in the White House. “But he’s a super compassionate person. It’s a super tough job, he made a step to give up a luxurious lifestyle.”

Colbert immediately called him out for that specific statement, saying: “Who cares? We’re supposed to feel bad for the guy?”

And amid the violent protests erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, the late-night host seemed to disagree on Trump’s compassion.

“Mr. President, this is terrorism, not your order at KFC,” Colbert said in his opening monologue about Trump’s Saturday comment on condemning the display of hatred, bigotry and violence “on many sides.”

4. “I haven’t heard Trump complain about” being president.

Adding to his comments about Trump giving up his “luxurious lifestyle,” Scaramucci continued to stand up for Trump.

“It’s a huge sacrifice, I haven’t heard him complain about it,” he said about Trump’s job as commander-in-chief. “That’s him wearing his heart on his sleeve … it’s a fish bowl, it’s a difficult job,” Scaramucci continued, jokingly adding: “Being the communications director is a difficult job.”

5. “I thought I’d last longer than like a carton of milk.”

Scaramucci was fired shortly after the publication of his now-notorious New Yorker interview in which he blasted other members of Trump’s administration, including chief strategist Steve Bannon and then-Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

“When you take a job like that you know your expiration date is coming. I didn’t think I would last too long, but I thought I’d last longer than like a carton of milk,” Scaramucci told Colbert. “If you bought your eggs and you were cooking them the day I got fired, it was totally fine, right?”

Late-night comedians, including Colbert, had a field day with Scaramucci’s exit. “The front stabber has been back stabbed. He said he was going to fire everybody, and I gotta admit, he delivered,” Colbert joked in a tribute parody.

6. “I’m an honest person.”

One exchange was particularly awkward between Scaramucci and Colbert.

“You know this, ok? You just feel it from me, I’m an honest person,” the former Goldman Sachs financier said to Colbert, who quickly disagreed.

“Wait a second. Don’t use me as a character witness for you. I don’t know. I met you like five minutes ago,” this year’s Emmy Awards host replied.

7. Knife wielding promise-keeper

Scaramucci tweeted on Aug. 10 that he would bring Colbert a “professionally monogrammed front stabbing knife” — and he actually did.

“After he hit me so hard for three weeks, he thought I was going to stab him with that. That’s why it’s in the hermetically sealed case,” Scaramucci explained his gift that was encased in a glass box.

The Late Show airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.


PEOPLE.com

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The 45 Greatest Moments in Black Business Series Continues

For the past few weeks we’ve been presenting a web series on the truly monumental and significant achievements by black business leaders and entrepreneurs. The “45 Great Moments in Black Business” is a countdown of these achievements with images and video pulled from the rich archives of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine.

(Image: File)

 

Each milestone event among the nation’s largest black-owned businesses has had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across decades. This is all in tribute to the 45th anniversary of BLACK ENTERPRISE’s iconic BE 100s yearly list of the largest black-owned companies.

The latest, great moments featured include:

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 36: Essence Sale Continues Debate Over Black Ownership.

 

The sale of Essence may not be considered one of the greatest achievements in black history but the moment represents one of the most vital. It’s central to the debate that continues today: Should African American entrepreneurs retain ownership to build multigenerational black-owned institutions or unlock value in companies by selling them, in many cases, to majority-owned acquirers? Over the years, a number of BE 100 CEOs have wrestled with that question, feeling additional heat from loyal consumers about whether they would be selling out or selling up. (www.blackenterprise.com/business/great-moments-in-black-business-no-36-essence-sale-continues-debate-over-black-ownership/)

 

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, June 1980)

 

45 Great Moments In Black Business – No. 35: The BE 100s Help Build A $ 540 Million Museum of Black Achievement.

 

In 2012, ground is broken for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. Among the driving forces are some of the most prominent CEOs among the BE 100s. Here are the black business leaders who helped make the museum a reality. (www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/45-great-moments-in-black-business-no-35-the-be-100s-help-build-a-540-million-museum-of-black-achievement/)

(Robert F. Smith. Image: robertfsmith.org)

 

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 34: How R. Donahue Peebles’ Historic Real Estate Deal Became A $ 127 Million Payday.

 

When BLACK ENTERPRISE covered Peebles in June 2004, he was dubbed “The Prince of South Beach”—and for good reason. He had control of the 417-unit Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort in Miami Beach—the first black-owned luxury resort in the nation—and his company, Peebles Atlantic Development Corp. had amassed a $ 500 million real estate portfolio and demonstrated a pile-driving 141% revenue growth in a year due, in part, to its focus on “on the red-hot South Florida luxury real estate scene.” (www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/45-great-moments-in-black-business-no-34-donahue-peebles-historic-real-estate-deal-turned-into-a-127-million-payday/)

Be sure to catch the continuing countdown of the greatest moments in black business history next week and beyond.

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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These ‘Game of Thrones’ moments spiked your heart rate, says Apple Watch app

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Game of Thrones tends to make your pulse quicken — but now we know exactly which moments in the show are the most thrilling. Spoiler alert: nearly all of them are about character interactions, not big battle scenes. 

The Apple Watch app Cardiogram, which has previously been able to warn users about early signs of heart disease, has turned its attention to HBO’s most popular show in a bid to discover what it does to our heart rate.

Cardiogram got 300 users to sign up for a “What Game of Thrones does to your heart rate” habit, which reminds them to start recording their heart rate every 5 seconds (the Apple Watch default is every 5 minutes) at 8:45pm on Sundays. From those 300 brave guinea pigs, it gathered a total of 2.3 million heart rate measurements. Read more…

More about Game Of Thrones Season 7, Entertainment, and Game Of Thrones


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45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 34: How R. Donahue Peebles’ Historic Real Estate Deal Became A $127 Million Payday

Over 45 days, BLACK ENTERPRISE shares 45 milestone events among the nation’s largest black-owned businesses that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This is in tribute to the 45th anniversary of Black Enterprise’s iconic BE 100s yearly list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 34 in the web series “45 Great Moments in Black Business.”

2004: R. Donahue Peebles makes history in 2002 when his BE 100s real estate firm completes development of Miami Beach’s Royal Palm Resort, the nation’s first black-owned luxury resort. Two years later, he sells the property for a record $ 127.5 million.

(Real estate mogul R. Donahue Peebles. Image: File)

 

When BLACK ENTERPRISE covered him in June 2004, he was dubbed “The Prince of South Beach”—and for good reason. He had control of the 417-unit Royal Palm Crowne Plaza Resort in Miami Beach—the first black-owned luxury resort in the nation—and his company, Peebles Atlantic Development Corp. had amassed a $ 500 million real estate portfolio and demonstrated a pile-driving 141% revenue growth in a year due, in part, to its focus on “on the red-hot South Florida luxury real estate scene.” As a result, the company was named BE’s Company of the Year. (Today, The Peebles Corp. ranks No. 35 on the BE Top 100 with $ 102 million in revenues.)

Known for his appearances offering commentary on business cable network CNBC, real estate mogul R. Donahue Peebles has been known as a major industry game changer for years. The Peebles Corp. was recognized as the 2004 Industrial/Service Company of the Year due to its distinction as being one of the biggest black-owned real estate firms and making the historic acquisition of the Royal Palm Resort in Miami Beach, Florida—the first black-owned and -developed resort in the nation. Our editors appropriately dubbed him “The Prince of South Beach.”

 

To fully appreciate his deal-making prowess and phenomenal payout, one must review its dynamics. Here’s the blow-by-blow account as reported by BE‘s then-Features Editor Alan Hughes some 13 years ago:

While on vacation in Miami Beach with his wife, Katrina, and their then-infant son for the 1995 New Year’s holiday, Peebles came across an article that would reshape his business. “I was reading the paper, and there was a story in The Miami Herald about how South Beach had grown and the real estate market is on fire, and they gave an example of the Shorecrest Hotel that was owned by an investor who paid $ 900,000 two or three years ago and was now selling it for $ 5 million,” said Peebles. “And they said it was next door to the Royal Palm Hotel that was owned by the city, which was looking for an African American developer.”

It was the first time Peebles had heard of a project reserved for a specific race. “So I said to myself, ‘How many African American developers are in this county? Not many. How many have the capacity to do a project of this size? Even fewer. And how many are reading The Miami Herald right now? Probably not many.’ “

There was a reason for the set-aside. Several years earlier, prominent local attorneys H.T. Smith and Marilyn Holifield led a tourism boycott by African Americans, claiming city officials had snubbed South African leader Nelson Mandela when he visited because the former political prisoner made positive remarks about Cuban President Fidel Castro. Miami is home to the largest Cuban population in the U.S. This made the city, which was segregated until the mid-60s, a hotbed for political and social unrest. 

As part of the 1993 settlement to end the boycott, which had cost the county an estimated $ 20 million to $ 50 million in lost convention business and tourist dollars, Miami Beach agreed to underwrite the development of a black-owned luxury hotel by putting up a long-term $ 10 million loan to acquire the property. But the deal stalled after four local African American would-be developers, known as the HCF Group, won the original bid but failed to secure additional financing for the estimated $ 60 million project. “Ultimately, in spite of H.T. Smith and other community leaders [urging] the city commission to reach a deal with HFC, the city commission terminated negotiations,” recalls Peebles.

When the Royal Palm deal came along, Peebles was familiar with both the real estate business and the politics of public/private partnerships. Even more important, he gained control of the Shorecrest Hotel, which would become a pivotal part of sealing the deal. When the city of Miami Beach issued its request for proposal for the Royal Palm, it was conditional on the development of the adjacent Shorecrest property. However, the city had earmarked $ 10 million to acquire both properties and used $ 5.5 million of those funds to acquire the Royal Palm, leaving insufficient funds in the budget to meet the $ 5.5 million asking price for the Shorecrest. Peebles’ earlier acquisition of that property turned out to be highly strategic, because any competing bids for acquiring and developing the Royal Palm had to include the Shorecrest.

The city received seven bids, mainly from major hotel chains that had partnered with African Americans to meet the 51% black ownership requirement. Each bidder was connected to a different hotel chain, including The Ritz-Carlton and Hyatt. Peebles partnered with Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, hammering out a contract in which the hotel chain paid $ 6 million for the right to brand and manage the property.

The Hyatt team was named the top bidder by the city’s citizens’ selection committee, set up to make recommendations to the city commission. Peebles came in second, while Baltimore developer Otis Warren came in third. The three finalists were then invited to make presentations to the commissioners, but with the recommendation, Hyatt clearly had the edge.

Peebles knew politics was behind it all. “The city’s financial adviser had recommended us financially; we had three loan commitments and nobody else had any,” he said. Peebles, however, had an ace in the hole: the Shorecrest property.

While he hired lobbyists to help him state his case, he personally developed relationships with city councilmen and pressed for their vote commitment. Peebles also had to contend with public opinion from many who thought he was getting a sweet deal because he was African American. Peebles is quick to point out that during that same time period, neighboring hotel Loews also received money from the city. Royal Palm received $ 10 million to build 400 rooms – some $ 23,000 per room – while the city invested $ 60 million in the 800-room Loews – or $ 75,000 per room. Loews also had 99 years to repay the loan versus 25 years for Royal Palm.

Peebles’ strategy paid off. Not only was there a national spotlight on Miami Beach and the plight of an African American developer, but he wooed the commissioners to vote in his favor. He emerged as the winning bidder in June 1996.

Elated at the time, his joy would be short-lived. Then-Mayor Seymour Gelber, who voted against the Peebles deal, assigned Arthur Courshon, a bank president and staunch opponent of Peebles, to negotiate the final contract. Talks dragged on for months while investors became impatient with delays and mounting expenses. Peebles had hoped to complete the project by year-end 1998—a hope that would quickly fade. Then he had to leap a hurdle with the city’s historic preservation program so Peebles could tear down the faulty structure but had to “build an exact replica of the original.”

When all was said and done, the project came in nearly two years late and costs totaled $ 82 million—more than $ 20 million over budget. The property celebrated its grand opening in May 2002. By 2004, the property had a year-round occupancy rate of approximately 70%.

(Image: peeblescorp.com)

 

Its completion was heralded throughout the African American business community. “It was huge because it was the first time in the history of this area where you had a substantial development owned by an African American going up on the beach,” said Andy Ingraham, president of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers Inc. “Let’s not forget it was not too far in the distant past when people like Muhammad Ali could fight and train on Miami Beach but could not stay on Miami Beach.”

Peebles would eventually become one of the wealthiest African Americans in the country, with an estimated net worth of more than $ 700 million and roughly $ 5 billion, 6 million square foot real estate portfolio. One of his first transactions after that historic development: Selling the Royal Palm for $ 127.5 million two years later.

—Additional reporting by Alan Hughes

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Martin Shkreli: 5 WTF Moments From Pharma Bro Trial

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Binge Read This Week’s “Great Moments in Black Business”

The history of the BE 100s, for the most part, haven’t been taught in public schools, colleges, universities, nor been used as case studies in business schools. We don’t want you to miss out, however, on the greatest moments of those firms that have occupied BLACK ENTERPRISE’s list of the nation’s largest black businesses over the past four decades.

(Image: File)

 

The stories serve to inform the status of contemporary black business development. But more importantly, they offer strategies that today’s entrepreneurs can update and in some cases, missteps that business owners can avoid. Here’s the milestones you’ve missed this week that you should binge read:

 

 

  • The controversial takeover of Essence, the iconic black women’s publication, by Time Inc. and what it means when African American institutions—especially media companies that serve as African American’s fiercest advocate—fall into white hands. That question remains as the future of Essence made headlines this week: No. 36: Essence Sale Continues Debate Over Black Ownership 

 

  • The uplifting story of how a group of BE 100 CEOs collaborated on the largest philanthropic effort driven by African Americans in history. We offer details on how they applied—and continue to use—their collective power, wealth, and clout to erect a $ 540 million national monument to black history: No. 35: The BE 100s Help Build A $ 540 Million Museum of Black Achievement 

 

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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45 Great Moments In Black Business – No. 35: The BE 100s Help Build A $540 Million Museum of Black Achievement

Over 45 days, Black Enterprise shares 45 milestone events among the nation’s largest black-owned businesses that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This is in tribute to the 45th anniversary of Black Enterprise’s iconic BE 100s yearly list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 35 in the web series “45 Great Moments in Black Business.” 

2012: Ground is broken for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. Among the driving forces are some of the most prominent CEOs among the BE 100s.

(Desegregation of Central High School Little Rock, AR. Image: NMAAHC collections)

 

“Today, we begin to make manifest on this Mall, on this sacred space, the dreams of many generations who fought for and believe there should be a site in the nation’s capital that will help all Americans remember and honor African American history and culture. But equally important to this vision was the need to make better all who visit the National Museum, by using African American culture as a lens to more clearly understand what it means to be an American.” —Lonnie Bunch III

(The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, November 6, 2015. Image: Michael Barnes)

 

 Those eloquent words were delivered by the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on a mild February day some five-and-a-half years ago, as he stood at the podium in a stadium-sized tent before an audience of 600 business and political leaders, a group that included President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. The groundbreaking ceremony for the NMAAHC was a historic moment that took centuries to arrive.

Perhaps the Largest-Ever African American-Driven Philanthropic Campaign

 

The journey, however, was not over. To complete this global monument to African American struggle and achievement like none other would require constant strategic planning, precise execution, and loads of money—to the tune of $ 540 billion.

Erecting the NMAAHC, which would open to the public September 2016—fittingly during the tenure of the nation’s first African American president—was an effort that demonstrated what a determined people— black people—could accomplish together. Arguably the largest philanthropic campaign in history driven by African Americans, this effort would not have happened without the inclusion of some of the men and women who run the nation’s largest businesses: The BE 100s.

 

Collaborative philanthropy has always been a major thrust of the BE 100s. In fact, the activity focused on the NMAAHC demonstrated, in large part, the raison d’etre of this black business leadership: To use their power, influence and wealth to advance our own.

Representing the Wide Arc of Black History

 

Throughout this process, Bunch came to greatly rely on a five-star advisory council for fundraising support, high-powered connections, strategic counsel and, in some cases, direction in mining the world for artifacts representing, as the director once told BE, the “wide arc of history—slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migrations to the North and West, segregation, the civil rights movement and beyond.”

The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Top BE 100 Donors:

 

1. Oprah Winfrey

Chairman & CEO, Harpo Inc.; Chairman & CEO, OWN: the Oprah Network

(Image: File)

 

BE 100s Status: Harpo Inc. (No. 48 on BE Top 100 with $ 72 million in revenues)

NMAAHC Role: Founding Council Member

Founding Donor: The Oprah Winfrey Foundation – Pinnacle Donor ($ 20 million and above); At a reported $ 21 million contribution, she represents the largest donor.

According to NMAAHC, in 2013, Winfrey announced a donation of $ 12 million, bringing total contributions to $ 13 million at the time. In recognition, the museum’s 350-seat theater was named The Oprah Winfrey Theater, a venue for performers, artists, educators, musicians, and opinion leaders, among others.

(The Oprah Winfrey Theater. Image: Instagram/NMAAHC)

 

Winfrey on donating: “I am deeply appreciative of those who paved the path for me and all who follow in their footsteps. By investing in  this museum, I want to help ensure that we both honor and preserve our culture and history, so that the stories of who we are will live on for generations to come.”

2. Robert F. Smith

CEO, Vista Equity Partners

(Image: robertfsmith.org)

 

BE 100s Status: Vista Equity Partners (No. 1 on the BE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS list with $ 30 billion in capital under management)

Founding Donor: Pinnacle Donor ($ 20 million and above)

The $ 20 million contribution of Smith, the first African American named chairman of Carnegie Hall, makes him the second highest private donor. According to The Washington Post, his funds were used to digitize photos, videos, and music of different African Americans, such as this image of Beatrice Brown Chappell, the first African American woman to earn her pilot’s license in the United States as well as her mechanic’s license.

(Image: NMAAHC)

 

Smith on donating: “We wanted it to be a living, interactive museum where we tell our own stories of ourselves our way,” he told the Washington Post.

3. Linda Johnson Rice

CEO, Ebony Media Operations; Chairman Emeritus, Ebony Media

(Image: File)

 

 

BE 100s History: Johnson Publishing Co. Inc., publisher of Ebony and Jet and producer, Fashion Fair; Among 10 largest black companies on Top 100 for 35 years; last appearance: No. 47 on the 2014 then-BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE COMPANIES list with $ 80 million in revenues.

NMAAHC Role: Immediate Past Co-chair, Advisory Council; Founding Council Member

Founding Donor: JPC -Milestone Donor: $ 1 million and above

Johnson Rice sat in on President Obama’s remarks at the opening ceremony of the museum.

(Image: whitehouse.gov)

 

Johnson Rice on donating: “We want as many African Americans as possible to play a role in the development of this museum. Getting small contributions is just as important as large corporate donations in reaching our goal.”

4. Robert L. Johnson

Chairman & CEO, RLJ McLarty Landers Holdings L.L.C.; Chairman, RLJ Equity Partners, L.L.C.

(Image: File)

 

BE 100s Status: RLJ McLarty Landers Holdings L.L.C (No. 1 on BE AUTO 50 with $ $ 1.6 billion in revenues); RLJ Equity Partners L.L.C. (No. 10 on BE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS list with $ 334 million in capital under management)

NMAAHC Role: Founding Council Member

Founding Donor: Cornerstone Donor ($ 5 million and above)

According to NMAAHC, in 2015, Johnson donated selected artwork from his private Barnett–Aden Collection, including a terracotta sculpture, “Head of the Negro Woman” (1946) by Elizabeth Catlett: paintings from Romare Bearden, “A Walk in Paradise Gardens” (1955); Henry O. Tanner, “Flight Into Egypt,” and Frederick C. Flemister, “Self-Portrait.”

(Frederick C. Flemister’s
“Self-Portrait.” Image: NMAAHC)

 

Johnson on contributing: “The artwork I have donated represents pride and dignity and is a celebration of the diverse aspects of African American history, Each piece not only represents the creative genius of the artist but also tells a story and is a tribute to African American art and culture.”

5. Earl W. Stafford

Chairman & CEO, Stafford Foundation Inc.; CEO, The Wentworth Group L.L.C.

 

(Image: Twitter/UMassAmherst)

 

 

BE 100s History: Former CEO, Universal Systems & Technology (UNITECH), a Virginia-based IT industry leader. Last appearance: No. 31 on the 2009 then-BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE COMPANIES list with $ 136 million in revenues; sold to Lockheed Martin.

NMAAHC Role: Founding Council Member

Founding Donors: Earl and Amanda Stafford –Keystone Donor: $ 2 million and above)

According to NMAAHC in a 2017 release, The Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA) showcases the museum’s dynamic image collection—169 photographs from 80 photographers from the late 1800s to the present. The collection includes a range from a hand-sized card, dated 1864, with an image of Sojourner Truth to a photo showing a group of people linking arms in Baltimore after the killing of Freddie Gray.

(Sojourner Truth photo. Image: NMAAHC)

 

Stafford on contributing: “All of us have equity in this museum. Whether someone can give $ 100 or $ 1,000, we should not limit contributions by size of wallets.”

6.Robert L. Wright

Co-Chairman Emeritus, SENTEL Corp. and former Chairman and CEO of Dimensions International

BE 100s History: Wright formed DI in 1985 and grew the firm into a tech giant before handing the reins to his son, Russell, in 2002. Three years later, DI acquired black-owned engineering and software services firm SENTEL—a transaction that made DI BE’s 2005 Company of the Year. In 2007, DI was acquired by Honeywell and SENTEL was spun-off, returning to BE 100s status. Its last appearance: No. 47 on the 2016 BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE COMPANIES list with $ 71 million in revenues.

NMAAHC Role: Founding Council Member

Founding Donor: Milestone Donor: ($ 1 million and above)

As chairman of the Presidential Commission for the NMAAHC under the George W. Bush administration, Wright was the catalyst for the development of the museum. His panel produced the book, The Time Has Come, which led to the 2003 congressional act that established the institution as part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Other BE 100s donors:

Milestone Donors ($ 1 million – $ 2 million):

Brown Capital Management (No. 3 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $ 8 billion in assets under management)

 

 

(Image: browncapital.com)

Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments (No. 1 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $ 11 billion in assets under management) and husband, Star Wars creator George Lucas

(Image: Flickr)

 

Dale Lefebvre, CEO of:

Towne Mortgage (No. 57 on the BE TOP 100 with $ 55.6 million in revenues)

Bird Electric (No. 61 on the BE TOP 100 with $ 49.9 million in revenues)

Benton-Georgia L.L.C. (No. 72 on the BE TOP 100 with $ 39.6 million in revenues)

Ag Trucking Inc. (No.83 on the BE TOP 100 with $ 34.1 million in revenues)

(Image: Facebook)

 

 

Loida Nicolas Lewis, Leslie Lewis and Christina Lewis Halpern; The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Inc.

BE 100s History: With his historic $ 985 million leveraged buyout of TLC Beatrice International Foods Cos.—the largest offshore transaction at the time—the late financier Reginald F. Lewis created the first black-owned global enterprise to surpass the billion-dollar revenue mark. Throughout his business career, he helped black businesses gain access to financing and became the standard bearer for African Americans on Wall Street

(Reginald Lewis. Image: The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation)

 

William F. Pickard Family Group

BE 100s Status:  William F. Pickard is chairman of Global Automotive Alliance (No. 16 on the BE Top 100 with $ 234 million in revenues)

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 37: Black Ad Agency Slays A Madison Avenue Giant

Over 45 days, Black Enterprise shares 45 milestone events among the nation’s largest black-owned businesses that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This is in tribute to the 45th anniversary of Black Enterprise’s iconic BE 100s yearly list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 37 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

1993: UniWorld Group, one of the largest black ad agencies, slays advertising leviathan Saatchi & Saatchi to win the Burger King general-market account.

It was a whopper of presentation.

Burger King, the perennial No. 2 burger chain, was not prepared to lose another market share battle in the Burger Wars against McDonald’s. After firing quite a few lead advertising agencies in the 1980s and early 1990s for their inability to develop consistent, sustainable marketing messages, the fast food giant’s honchos called Byron Lewis, president and CEO of UniWorld Group Inc., one of the nation’s largest African American ad agencies, to tell him that his firm had a shot to head Burger King’s national interim campaign while it searched for a full-time agency.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine)

 

 

Having It Their Way With Burger King

 

UniWorld had successfully handled Burger King’s marketing targeted to the African American community since 1983. Now, some 10 years later, Lewis was told that he and his creative crew would not automatically gain the assignment but would be pitted against the massive global media behemoth Saatchi & Saatchi. Although Lewis knew UniWorld wasn’t in the running for the top advertising spot on a permanent basis that fact didn’t deter the daring entrepreneur from fully embracing the challenge and pushing his agency to the max.

As he recounted in my book, BLACK ENTERPRISE Titans of the BE 100s: Black CEOs who Redefined and Conquered American Business, of the contest: He became personally involved, pulling in his best people. Together, they worked around the clock, conjuring up slogans and reviewing scores of storyboards. Within weeks. Lewis & Co. struck pay dirt with the new tag line: “We may not be No. 1, it just tastes that way.”

That line and their presentation more than satiated the competitive appetite of Burger King’s top management. It won UniWorld the $ 170 million account—the largest general market campaign ever awarded to an African American firm–and in the process, the firm char-broiled a Madison Avenue giant.

Between 1993 and 1994, UniWorld worked at a feverish pace on the campaign, pumping out more than 50 commercials. As a result, the Home of the Whopper took a chomp out of the Big Mac, sustaining its first ever sales increase over a six-month period to more than 13% over the previous year. Although the firm would not gain accolades from the advertising trade press, it was clear that UniWorld was the only firm at the time capable of resuscitating Burger King’s flagging sales and torched reputation.

“We Proved That We Could Compete”

 

Despite UniWorld’s inability to gain the general market account on a permanent basis, the firm once again demonstrated its talent, experience, and inventiveness. “We proved that we could compete with mainstream agencies and be successful,” Lewis told BE of this major barrier-breaking milestone for African American agencies.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine)

 

Black advertising agencies have been succeeding against the odds since BE revealed its first ranking of the nation’s largest African American-owned advertising agencies in 1973—a roster of 15 firms that recorded total billings of $ 31.4 million versus $ 13.6 billion for the total industry.

In 1998, BE would re-introduce the adverting agencies list with 20 companies generating $ 798 million in billings versus $ 187. 5 billion in total marketing spend. By 2016, the last year that we compiled the list, the ranks—now measured by revenues—had dwindled to eight. Throughout our 45-year history, only two black agencies had appeared on all of BE‘s measurements of black firms: Chicago-based Burrell Communications and UniWorld.

Black-Owned Advertising Firms Denied Access

 

Throughout four decades, black agencies have been largely denied access to lucrative general market accounts and during much of the 1970s and 1980s designated to crafting messages for the burgeoning black consumer market. But the tide turned: As these firms sold white advertisers on the potential and power of African American consumers, experts like Ken Smikle’s  Target Market News maintained, majority corporations increasingly used to white agencies. “The mainstream agencies started competing for the budgets that black advertising agencies had developed without safeguarding any of our territory,” Lewis said in an interview for the Titans book. “So it was clear that the competitive threat to UniWorld would not only come from other established black agencies but also mainstream firms.”

By the 1990s and turn of the century, large, majority firms started urban consumer-focused boutiques as well as merged and partnered with African American companies, including BE 100s ad agencies: Publicis took a 49% stake in Burrell in 1999 and eventually UniWorld sold 49% to WPP Group plc as part of a strategic alliance. Today’s African American firms contend with the most direct threat to its future, the abandonment of target marketing altogether for the so-called “total market” approach.

UniWorld Breaks Barriers

 

Since Lewis launched UniWorld in 1969 with $ 250,000 in funds from two venture capital firms, he had been nimble and adaptable from the start. He buoyed the firm by targeting the entertainment industry in the early days, developing marketing campaigns for the black action film, Shaft and its sequel, and creating an urban radio soap opera, Sounds of the City, sponsored by Quaker Oats.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine)

 

He also focused on political programming, striking a joint venture with then-BE 100s radio broadcaster National Black Network to air the 1976 Democratic and GOP conventions, securing AT&T as a sponsor as a means for the telecommunications company to gain access to “influential and affluent African Americans.” That radio broadcast would serve as the precursor for America’s Black Forum, a nationally syndicated television program he started in 1984, airing in 70 markets over two decades with advertising from Burger King and Ford Motor Co.

Lewis’ message of market share protection through deeper penetration of African American and Latino markets resonated with white advertisers in the 1980s. His accounts grew to include long-term clients such as Kodak, Bank of America, Colgate Palmolive, Motorola, Pepsi, and Microsoft. The firm had come a long way: When UniWorld first appeared on the BE Advertising Agencies list in 1973, its billings were $ 3.5 million. By the time, it was named Advertising Agency of the Year in 2000, the accounts expanded to 18 major corporations and billings grew to $ 230 million.

The Burger King account had become one of UniWorld’s defining moments though. That milestone led to a full-fledged general market account. In 1995, M&M/Mars, the mammoth candy manufacturer, awarded UniWorld the $ 11 million 3 Musketeers candy bar campaign. Although it was a mainstream effort, UniWorld brought its multicultural sensibilities to marketing the product. The campaign featured comedienne Fran Drescher, star of then-hit sitcom The Nanny, three swordsmen and the slogan, “Big on chocolate, not on fat.” Since the candy bar was a hit among ethnic consumers, UniWorld’s creative team included an African American actor to play one of the foil-carrying characters.

For UniWorld, the campaign, among the largest ever awarded an ethnic agency, was sweet. Due to such achievements, UniWorld—and Lewis, a 2013 Advertising Hall of Fame inductee for leading an ethnic agency that gained some of the largest mainstream accounts —today receives its due.

See the below interview with Byron Lewis when he was awarded the AG Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award:

 

Access the entire digital version of the 2017 May/June issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE featuring our 2017 BE 100s report and subscribe to Black Enterprise Magazine here. 

And view the full list of the 2017 BE 100s here.

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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Miley Cyrus’ most attention-seeking moments

Miley Cyrus complains about the paparazzi, and yet with each passing day, she’s spotted out and about flaunting her body in outfits that just scream “look at me!” From short shorts to see-through tops to the debut of her radically shorn ‘do, take a look at the singer/actress’ most attention-grabbing moments.
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FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 36: Essence Sale Continues Debate Over Black Ownership

Over 45 days, Black Enterprise shares 45 milestone events among the nation’s largest black-owned businesses that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This is in tribute to the 45th anniversary of Black Enterprise’s iconic BE 100s yearly list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 36 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

2005: Essence Communications Partners sells the remaining 51% of the company that publishes the leading black women’s magazine to Time Inc. brings shock and awe from black consumers.

Essence is back on the block.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, June 1980)

 

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Time Inc. has decided to hawk a majority stake in the media property once boldly regarded as “The Voice for Today’s Black Women,” seeking a “strategic partner with investment capital” while the media company—home to Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and InStyle—seeks to retain minority ownership. In fact, the report further stated that this was Time Inc. “first major move since it decided not to sell itself in April.”

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, June 1980)

 

That news report represents the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of one of African Americans’ most treasured black-owned institutions at one time. In fact, the news about the sale of BE 100s companies—from haircare firms to media companies—has always gone viral—even pre-Internet—when it involved one of our most revered companies having fallen into white hands.

Why Essence’s Sale Is a Vital Moment in Black Business History

 

The sale of Essence may not be considered one of the greatest achievements in black history but the moment represents one of the most vital. It’s central to the debate that continues today: Should African American entrepreneurs retain ownership to build multigenerational black-owned institutions or unlock value in companies by selling them, in many cases, to majority-owned acquirers? Over the years, a number of BE 100 CEOs have wrestled with that question, feeling additional heat from loyal consumers about whether they would be selling out or selling up.

Reviewing Essence’s history may offer some valuable clues.

Launched in 1970, Essence’s mission of celebrating the beauty and brilliance as well as accomplishments and aspirations of African American women resonated with its audience across generations. Essence started as a partnership between four black men—Edward Lewis, Clarence Smith, Cecil Hollingsworth and Jonathan Blount—that would eventually owe much of its decades of brand-building success and business growth to a leadership triumvirate.

Building a Media Powerhouse

 

That’s why when BE developed its list of Titans: 40 Most Powerful African Americans in Business in 2010, this collective trio was recognized as a single entry: Chairman & CEO Lewis and President Smith, who handled operations, finance, and sales, and Editor-In-Chief Susan Taylor, the face of the publication who guided its uncompromising editorial direction and gave black women a powerful voice. Together, they built Essence Communications Inc. (ECI) into a media powerhouse. In fact, ECI was one of a handful of BE 100s companies that could boast inclusion on the Top 100 for 31 consecutive years after its appearance on the first list in 1973.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine. June 1997)

 

In 2000, ECI decided to sell a 49% stake of to Time Inc., a division of Time Warner (it was spun off into a separate entity in 2014), and was renamed Essence Communications Partners. Five years later, in 2005, the company sold the remainder to the media conglomerate. At the time, Lewis said that “Time Inc. has distinguished itself by recognizing the impact of African Americans on a global scale and their influence within the cultural landscape. Thanks to our partnership with Time Inc., Essence Communications is a stronger, more competitive publisher.” (According to Lewis’ autobiography, The Man from Essence, “the combined amount of the two sales totaled nearly $ 270 million—the highest price-per-page Time Inc. had ever paid for a single-title magazine publishing company.”

Break Up of One of the Greatest Media Partnerships

 

BE covered ECP’s five-year transition, which included the bitter dissolution of Lewis’ and Smith’s 32-year partnership, one of the longest-running unions in black business.

The final sale was greeted with shock and awe from quarters of the black community. Ken Smikle, president of Chicago-based Target Market News had approved of the deal but explained that the sale hit a raw nerve because it represented the loss of one of “our cultural guideposts” like Motown, BET, and black haircare companies. “These are institutions that we share a common experience with. They are woven into our everyday life,” he asserted. “We feel that we lost something because these institutions and their ownership by extension represent a part of us.”

Decrying Essence as a “Sell Out”

 

After the sale, a BlackEnterprise.com poll revealed that 34% of respondents felt that ECP had “sold out” vs. 14% who felt the transaction made good business sense. Another 46% of those who replied were concerned with how the new ownership structure would affect the magazine and other events like its popular Essence Music Festival. For instance, Leslie Mays, then-president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and an Essence subscriber, found it “extremely disappointing on a personal level” to have discovered that ECP surrendered control and ownership of the publication. “It enables Time to reach an influential market segment—black women—directing our dollars away from reinvestment in our community and businesses and into the deep pockets of another multinational corporation,” she asserted. “I also have a worry that such a deal almost certainly guarantees loss of editorial control and content on subjects of interest and concern to black women as a primary audience.”

Rev. Al Sharpton made the case at the time for creation of a bidding process in which African Americans would gain a shot at retaining black ownership. The civil rights leader had met with Lewis, who said that he sold Essence to Time Inc., in part, “do what Bob Johnson did”—use the proceeds, clout, and connections from his corporate dealings to build other black institutions. But Sharpton countered, asserting there were African Americans within the financial community who could have raised the necessary capital to acquire ECP. He further argued that African American entrepreneurs and financiers should have at least been given the option to make a bid.

Johnson Quells the Controversy

 

When Thomas J. Burrell, for example, decided to step down from his post as chairman and CEO of his Chicago-based BE advertising firm, Burrell Communications Group, he  intentionally crafted a succession plan to sell 51% majority ownership to his top managers even though Publicis Groupe, the French global media, owned a 49% minority stake. A more recent example was BE 100s media company Urban One—formerly Radio One Inc. —buying back media giant Comcast’s stake to gain 100% ownership of cable channel TV One as well as having its digital unit gobble up existing black digital properties to become one of the largest digital outlets for black consumers.

BET founder Robert L. Johnson weighed in during the controversy of ECP’s sale, maintaining that it was part of an evolutionary model of black media—a paradigm shift that includes deep-pocketed corporate partners and, in some cases, acquirers. “The only reason Time Warner would want to buy [Essence] is because of the strength and power of Essence‘s voice that has been built up over 30-plus years,” he said. “It’s just a sheer economic fact of life that over time, as black companies become very valuable for their brand and market penetration, it’s going to be very difficult for African American [potential buyers] to offer the kind of financial transaction that’s going to maximize shareholder value for the seller.”

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine. September 2000)

 

The Essence sale illustrates the continuing need for companies to continue to scale up through partnerships and, in some cases, divestitures to gain expansion capital and other strategic resources.

Even though the news reports on Time Inc.’s announcement does not provide financial details, the move, however, may open the door for African American entrepreneurs to bring Essence back into the fold of the BE 100s.

 

Watch Susan Taylor’s interview at Black Enterprise’s Women of Power Summit:

 

 

Access the entire digital version of the 2017 May/June issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE featuring our 2017 BE 100s report and subscribe to Black Enterprise Magazine here. 

And view the full list of the 2017 BE 100s here.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 38: Indecorp’s Buys a $100 Million White-Owned Bank

Over 45 days, Black Enterprise shares 45 milestone events among the nation’s largest black-owned businesses that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This is in tribute to the 45th anniversary of Black Enterprise’s iconic BE 100s yearly list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 38 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

1988: Independence Bank of Chicago makes history with its acquisition of Drexel National, the first time ever an African American institution bought a healthy white-owned financial institution.

The advertisement revealed pictures of dead presidents—Lincoln, Jackson, Grant—with a catchy tagline: “We’d be very happy to see a few new faces at our banks.” The ad would also communicate the historic milestone as part of its customer service message: “We formed the largest black-owned bank holding company in America to serve the needs of communities like yours.”

(Image: File)

 

Roughly two years before that ad’s appearance in BLACK ENTERPRISE and other black periodicals, the late Alvin J. Boutte—the man lauded as “an entrepreneurial wizard in Chicago’s banking community”—performed a bit of deal-making magic. In 1988, the president and CEO of Indecorp, the holding company of the nation’s fifth largest black bank, Independence Bank of Chicago, completed the landmark acquisition of majority-owned Drexel National Bank, also located in the Windy City.

First Time Ever: Black Financial Institution Buys White-Owned Bank

 

The transaction, which brought Drexel under the Indecorp’s umbrella, marked the first time that a black-controlled financial institution purchased a solid white-owned banking establishment. In fact, at that time, the acquisition represented one of the largest deals in minority banking history.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine)

 

Analysts had estimated that Indecorp paid roughly $ 8 million—about 1.5 times book value —for Drexel. It was a bargain: Boutte gained $ 109 million in additional assets, $ 3 million in lending capacity, two new branches, $ 50 million in passbook savings accounts and Drexel’s 20,000 customers. One of the nation’s most prominent black financial institutions, Independence had assets of $ 118 million in 1998. Due to the groundbreaking acquisition, BE recognized Independence as the 1989 Bank of the Year.

By 1990, Indecorp had two institutions, Independence (No. 5) and Drexel (No. 6), on the 37-member BE Banks list. Collectively, Indecorp’s total assets were roughly $ 227 million. The 1990 bank list leader: rival Seaway National Bank of Chicago with assets of $ 164 million was now dwarfed by the size of its chief competitor. “We have acquired a sleeping giant with enormous earnings potential,” Boutte told BE at the time of the deal. “Our combined lending limit doubles with this acquisition. We can now take larger positions in deals throughout the city.”

Spirit of An Entrepreneur

 

The astute, focused Boutte was the right man to operate the institution. The spirit of an entrepreneur coursed through the Lake Charles, Louisiana, native and Xavier University-educated pharmacist who founded Independent Drug Stores and built it into the nation’s largest black-owned pharmacy chain. After selling his business, he was tapped to become president of Independence in 1970.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine)

 

Despite the bank being robbed on his first day, Boutte was extremely excited about its growth prospects. Launched in 1964 by investors like George Johnson, president of Johnson Products Co., the maker of haircare products such as Afro Sheen and Ultra Sheen, the bank had pretty much languished. Boutte put in place a multipronged plan that included developing an aggressive marketing campaign to attract corporate and government customers; assembling an experienced staff to execute on his initiatives; and expanding its loan portfolio.

Boutte Takes Assets to $ 100 Million

 

Over the course of a decade, he persuaded major corporations such as Shell Oil and American Hospital Supply to become clients as well as structured a $ 30 million revolving loan agreement with Sears, Roebuck & Co. with Independence leading a consortium of 60 minority banks to handle the retailer’s credit and lending needs. Moreover, he took over the deposits of two failed institutions, increasing the bank’s assets by more than 35% in 1979. Within 10 years, from 1970 to 1980, he increased assets from a mere $ 11 million to a whopping $ 100 million. During this period, he also created the holding company Indecorp as a vehicle to acquire other financial institutions.

After the Drexel deal in 1988, Boutte sought to take advantage of a deregulated banking environment by crafting an audacious strategy focused on acquisitions and alliances. With increased lending power, Indecorp broke new ground for black banks in areas like foreign currency exchange, trust services, and municipal bond underwriting. In fact, the holding company also became the first black institution to engage in a joint venture with a majority investment bank, Kane McKenna and Associates, the Chicago affiliate of Robert W. Baird, a diversified financial services firm.

A Setback

 

But Indecorp CEO Boutte and its Chairman George E. Johnson would fail in their bid to make history a second time by creating the first black interstate banking operation. By 1993, Boutte and George Johnson had decided to put Indecorp on the auction block. Its suitor: Omnibanc Corp., a Detroit-based black financial holding company with just $ 23 million in assets. Omnibanc’s Chairman William Johnson gained capital from former Detroit Pistons superstar Isiah Thomas and other investors to meet Indecorp’s $ 35 million price tag. After Boutte and William Johnson shook on the deal in September 1993, all parties had to wait for Federal Reserve approval.

The deal, however, unraveled due to timing and interest rates.

Over the course of a year, the Fed raised interest rates to keep inflation at bay. However, the hike depressed the value of Indecorp’s bond portfolio, which represented two-thirds of its assets. Reviewing the books again, Johnson decided to shave the offering price to $ 26 million. Boutte wouldn’t budge. The Fed’s approval expired December 1994 and so did the deal.

Indecorp was eventually sold. In 1995, much to the disappointment of thousands of black Chicagoans, majority-owned ShoreBank Corp., the holding company for South Shore Bank in Chicago, acquired Indecorp, which, in turn, lost its black ownership status.

As for Omnibanc: It was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and then the failed institutions were sold in 1988. The acquirer: ShoreBank Corp.

 

Access the entire digital version of the 2017 May/June issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE featuring our 2017 BE 100s report and subscribe to Black Enterprise Magazine here. 

And view the full list of the 2017 BE 100s here.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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This Week’s Greatest Moments In Our Black Business History Celebration

The BE 100s—Black Enterprise‘s rankings of the nation’s largest businesses—turned 45 this year. As our CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. wrote in his “Executive Memo” column on the mission behind the development of our exclusive roster: “We found that it was equally important to produce an annual barometer of black business as it was to tell the monthly stories of founders who demonstrated tenacity, acumen, and ingenuity to grow their companies—despite racial discrimination and diminished access to capital and business opportunities.”

 

 

Not only are our editors celebrating this anniversary marked by audacious action and monumental achievements, we have decided to share with you the defining moments of black business over the past four decades. Over 45 days, we reveal a milestone event each day that has had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry.

Some may take these stories of entrepreneurial derring-do as history lessons. However, I believe they represent much more. Each story is a master class on either business strategy, organizational management, or innovative ideation, among other areas, that can be useful for established business owners, newly-minted disruptors or those operating a venture at any stage of development.

 

Weekly Wrap-Up of “45 Greatest Moment in Black Business History” Nos. 45-39

 

So for those who missed our first week of great moments, here’s your opportunity to binge:

No. 45 -#BankBlack: #Bank Black strengthens BE 100s’ mission of entrepreneurship and empowerment: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-moments-that-changed-black-business-bankblack-strengthens-be-100s-banks-mission-of-entrepreneurship-and-empowerment/

(Image: Instagram/killermike)

 

 

No. 44 – The Summit Held by President Jimmy Carter: Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. President to gather black business leaders at the white house: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-moments-that-changed-black-business-no-44-summit-at-the-carter-white-house/

(Image: File)

 

 

No. 43-Jesse Jackson’s Wall Street Project: Rev. Jackson said access to capital is the fourth stage of the civil rights movement: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-moments-changed-black-business-wall-street-project/

 

 

No. 42-Black Insurers Write New Life Policies: Many black fortunes have been made through insurance, despite industry’s turbulence: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-moments-that-changed-black-business-no-42-black-insurers-write-new-life-policies/

(Alonzo Franklin Herndon. Image: File)

 

 

No. 41- The legacy of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown: His tragic death rocked the political and business world, yet, his legacy lives on: http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-great-moments-in-black-business-no-41-the-legacy-of-commerce-secretary-ron-brown/

 

 

No. 40-The Auto Dealer That Broke the Billion-Dollar Barrier: His is one of the few black businesses to reach $ 1 billion in revenue http://www.blackenterprise.com/business/45-great-moments-in-black-business-no-40-the-auto-dealer-that-broke-the-billion-dollar-barrier/

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; June 2005)

 

 

No. 39-Ronald Blaylock Seals $ 150 Million Deal: It was unprecedented—a black firm negotiated a multimillion-dollar deal with Texaco: http://www.blackenterprise.com/small-business/45-moments-that-changed-black-business-no-39-changing-the-corporate-underwriting-game/

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; June 1998)

 

 

 

 

Access the entire digital version of the 2017 May/June issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE featuring our 2017 BE 100s report and subscribe to Black Enterprise Magazine here. 

And view the full list of the 2017 BE 100s here.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

FASHION DEALS UPDATE:

45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 39: Ronald Blaylock Seals $300 Million Deal

Over 45 days, BLACK ENTERPRISE shares 45 milestone events among the nation’s largest black-owned businesses that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This is in tribute to the 45th anniversary of Black Enterprise’s iconic BE 100s yearly list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 39 in the web series “45 Great Moments in Black Business.”

1997: Handling an underwriting assignment for oil giant Texaco, Blaylock & Partners becomes the first minority-owned firm to serve as lead manager for one of the 500 largest publicly traded companies

He was called one of the “new breed.” In the 1990s, that was an appropriate description of the enterprising investment banker Ronald E. Blaylock that author Gregory S. Bell wrote in his BLACK ENTERPRISE book, In The Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street (John Wiley & Sons; $ 24.95).

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; June 1998)

 

Bell should know. His late father Travers Bell Jr. was the barrier-breaking entrepreneur who co-founded Daniels & Bell, the first black-owned investment banking firm to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1971. Unlike pioneering CEOs like the elder Bell, Blaylock was able to launch his firm by striking a partnership with a white-shoe Wall Street firm.

Wall Street Deal Maker

 

After working stints at Citicorp and PaineWebber, where he gained a rep for being lead salesman of mortgage-backed securities and partial to the energy sector, and the  co-founder of a black-owned investment bank, the Winston-Salem native decided to launch his own shop. Known for being one of the hoop stars on the heralded Georgetown University Hoyas of the 1980s, Blaylock scored big when in 1994 he convinced venerable Wall Street firm Bear Stearns to buy a 25% equity stake in his startup for $ 10 million—one of a handful of African Americans who had been successful in structuring such arrangements.

It didn’t take Blaylock & Partners L.P. long to make a name for itself on The Street in corporate underwriting and break new ground in transactions that early pioneers like Daniels & Bell were unable to engage in some 20 years earlier.

From an Act of Racism Comes Astounding Success

 

In the following excerpt from his powerful book, Greg Bell shares B&P’s amazing deal, developed, in part, from an act of racism that set it on the path to phenomenal growth and at the same time helped open doors for African Americans in the corporate finance arena:

The firm that received the majority of headlines in the late 1990s was Blaylock & Partners. So successful were they during this period that BusinessWeek described the firm, “A Minority-owned Firm Hits the Major Leagues.” The areas in which they were working were unexplored for a black firm. They were the first black investment bank to finish in the top 20 in corporate debt. The firm began its climb in 1996 when it participated in its largest deal to that date, a $ 300 million offering for the Tennessee Valley Authority in a syndicate exclusively comprising minority-owned firms including Muriel Siebert and Pryor McClendon Counts.

(Image: Amazon)

 

Then it became the first black investment to underwrite a corporate bond offering for a Fortune 500 company. A wall that has stood so strong for so long does not usually come down unless there are special circumstances. This was the case in 1996 when Texaco became engulfed in controversy. It all started when a group of black middle managers filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the oil giant. The plaintiffs claimed that the pay and promotions were far from meritorious and sometimes were given according to preference instead of performance. The matter persisted sluggishly as only the legal system can, but a tape emerged in 1996 of a meeting that had taken place two years earlier. The tape horrified many but revealed attitudes that some knew were always beneath the surface. Top Texaco officials, including its treasurer, were heard using racial slurs and negative characterization to refer to African Americans. After employees were fired and apologies offered, many wondered, what next? Then-New York Comptroller H. Carl McCall threatened to sell the more than 1 million shares of Texaco stock in the state’s pension fund. Rev. Jesse Jackson threatened a boycott until significant changes were made. Soon, the company announced a diversity effort and then settled with the plaintiffs in the initial lawsuit for $ 176 million.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine, June 1998)

 

Although it was disturbing to see just how strongly ancient prejudices still existed within some of the highest offices, there was an interesting irony because these racist Jim Crow attitudes actually provided an opportunity for African Americans. Shortly after the situation in January 1997, B&P was named the lead underwriter for a 10-year note offering for Texaco. Blaylock acknowledged that the turmoil at the company certainly opened doors to discourse between his firm and the financial officers at Texaco. However, all parties point out that the firm walked into the offices and presented the idea for the deal, and executed it well. So in demand were the bonds, that the offering was increased $ 50 million from the original amount of $ 100 million, with Blaylock & Partners selling most of the bonds.

Blaylock Seals the Deal with Texaco

 

Despite the senior management team’s commitment to contract more minority suppliers due to the scandal, B&P initiated the deal, properly priced the offering and, then-Texaco Treasurer James F. Link told BE, the transaction went “extraordinarily well. We announced it in the morning, and we closed it shortly after lunch. That’s about the time you would anticipate for a transaction that’s $ 150-$ 300 million.”

The favorable execution of that deal for the issuing company and buyers helped set the stage for B&P’s participation in some of Wall Street’s biggest deals of that era, including the initial public offerings of Prudential Financial, Genworth Financial, and Google. Its performance led to Bnaming it Financial Company of the Year in 1998 and B&P handling $ 83 billion in fixed-income and equity transactions to become the nation’s largest black investment bank during the turn of the century.

A “Jackie Robinson” Moment for Investment Banking

 

The significance of the deal to black financial firms overall? As Ariel Investments CEO John Rogers characterize such events: “It was a Jackie Robinson moment.” Despite the circumstances for how the deal evolved, B&P demonstrated that black investment banks could serve as lead managers on such transactions and perform at the highest standards. Still challenged with gaining such opportunities, the Texaco deal paved the way for BE 100s investment banks and asset managers to gain greater consideration in deals that came later, from Wall Street to Silicon Valley.

As for B&P, its period of successive deal-making triumphs enabled the former Hoya star to achieve a glorious championship season. Travers Bell—and others that came before Blaylock—would have beamed with pride.

 

Access the entire digital version of the 2017 May/June issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE featuring our 2017 BE 100s report and subscribe to Black Enterprise Magazine here. 

And view the full list of the 2017 BE 100s here.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 40: The Auto Dealer That Broke The Billion-Dollar Barrier

Over 45 days, Black Enterprise shares 45 milestone events among the nation’s largest black-owned businesses that have had widespread impact on black economic development and American industry across four decades. This is in tribute to the 45th anniversary of Black Enterprise’s iconic BE 100s yearly list of the largest black-owned companies.

Today we reveal No. 40 in the web series, “Great Moments in Black Business.”

2005: Prestige Automotive makes history as the first black auto dealer to surpass the billion-dollar revenue mark but it would not be the only company to achieve that milestone.

Gregory Jackson had always focused on customer service and sales performance to drive his St. Clair Shores, Michigan-based megadealership Prestige Automotive to zoom past the competition. Launching his first dealership in 1993 using $ 150,000 in life savings, Jackson’s hard work over a dozen years more than paid off handsomely. In fact, he would make business history. In 2005, he steered the first black-owned auto dealership to surpass $ 1 billion in sales, achieving the pole position on the then BE AUTO DEALER 100. At the time, his company’s 39% revenue bump from 2003 were derived from new locations—he then had a total of nine outlets—repair services and fleet sales, which made up 60% of his business.

(Image: prestigeautomotive.com)

 

In recognition of his company reaching this 10-figure milestone in what had been characterized as a lackluster business climate for the auto industry, BLACK ENTERPRISE named Prestige Automotive the 2005 Auto Dealer of the Year. At the time, Jackson was in expansion mode as he eyed two additional dealerships and secured a Mercedes-Benz location in suburban Detroit.

(Image: Courtesy of Gregory Jackson)

 

This accomplishment proved so significant due to the fact that Prestige was only the fourth black-owned company to ever achieve the billion dollar revenue status. Since legendary financier Reginald F. Lewis completed the 1987 acquisition that produced the standard-setting global food manufacturer TLC Beatrice International Holdings Inc., only information technology giant World Wide Technology Inc. and energy exploration and distribution company CAMAC Holdings Inc. had gained membership in that exclusive club. At one point in the history of the Top 100, it was tough for the collective to break the billion-dollar revenue barrier much less one company.

It seemed fitting that an enterprise in the automotive sector would eventually gain that checkered flag. When the first Top 100 was released in 1973, auto dealers represented 15% of the list that included Al Johnson Cadillac Inc., the first General Motors dealership awarded to an African American. To increase the number of black franchises, GM started a minority dealer development program that year and then the other two members of the Big Three—Ford and Chrysler—followed suit, creating a pipeline of African American dealers.

By 1987, the swelling ranks of black auto franchises dominated the Top 100, representing 53% of the roster’s companies and 41% of collective revenues—roughly $ 1.3 billion of $ 3.3 billion. Another factor fueled this growth: The first wave of African American megadealerships. The BE 100s, in fact, evolved in 1988 when the automotive segment became so robust that our editors decided to rank these franchises on a separate listing.

(Image: Black Enterprise Magazine; June 2005)

 

Jackson stayed a billion-dollar dealer for three years until an industry downturn wrecked large numbers of black franchises, among them BE 100s mainstays. The savvy Jackson, however, weathered the storm—marked by the bankruptcies, recapitalizations and dealer network shakeups of GM and Chrysler between the years 2009 to 2011—by restructuring Prestige’s operations and eliminating less profitable fleet sales.

“Progress still does not seem to be coming as quickly as it could or as it should. African American dealers and all minority dealers have to be students of the game,” Jackson told BE, maintaining that his brethren needed to understand the value of evaluating industry statistics and analyzing financials from each department daily.

For example, the lion’s share of Prestige’s profits came from repair services and retail sales, which had margins of 3% to 5%, not voluminous fleet transactions. So as he scaled down to three dealerships, including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Scion, during that period, his operations were more profitable. Moreover, he also earned the coveted Mercedes-Benz Best of the Best Award. At the same time, the lifelong entrepreneur, who had interests in Michigan real estate and joint ventures in China, positioned himself for the long haul through such diversification.

 

By 2011, industrywide tumult had abated while pent-up consumer demand placed new domestic car sales in overdrive. As a result of casualties of the crash caused by the Great Recession, the 2012 BE AUTO DEALERS list had dropped to 60. And lean, mean, and profitable Prestige ranked No. 2 with 2011 revenues of $ 410 million. It was right behind the new list leader, RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Holdings L.L.C. with revenues of $ 1.1 billion.

Since that list, a black auto dealer has retained its membership in the billion-dollar club.

 

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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Epic Moments In Fashion That Wouldn’t Have Existed Without The LGBTQ Community

Plainly stated, fashion as we know it today would not exist if not for the creativity and influence of people in the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ stylists, designers and fashion personalities alike make up the heart of the industry. 

As a result, many of our very favorite moments in pop culture, film and even political happenings would simply have not been possible without the LGBTQ community’s contributions. 

The history of fashion and its intersection with queerness goes far beyond this small sampling. The 25 moments we’re highlighting below, while iconic, just barely skim the surface.

Could you imagine living in a world without Madonna’s cone bra, debuted in 1990 and designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier? Or what about any single thing Sarah Jessica Parker wore as Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City?”

Behold, in honor of Pride Month, 25 of the many epic moments in fashion history for which we should thank the LGBTQ community. 

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Polaroid Cameras for Instantly Capturing Moments

Fueled almost entirely by nostalgia, instant film cameras are still a fixture in today’s market. These are the best offerings available right now.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Classic ’30 Rock’ Moments To Help You Get Through The Day

Presidents may come and come go, but “30 Rock” is forever. 

The beloved NBC sitcom created by Tina Fey might have aired its last episode years ago, but it feels just as politically relevant and hilarious today as it did when Jenna Maroney declared she was voting for Osama on an episode of “Hardball.” 

Considering “30 Rock” helped to cement Fey as a TV legend, as well as give Alec Baldwin a mid-career boost that propelled him straight into the White House ― at least the one on “Saturday Night Live” ― it’s time to take a look back at some of the show’s best moments to help us navigate these trying times. 

If you think about it, Jack Donaghy was essentially a Donald Trump prototype with the same flair for the dramatics, except with better hair. 

Watch the video above to relive “30 Rock” at its best and remember, with Liz Lemon and the rest of the “TGS” crew by your side, you’re never alone. 

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Mahershala Ali, Amy Poehler and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLUJoin us at 7 p.m. Eastern on Friday, March 31 on Facebook Live

You can support the ACLU right away. Text POWER to 20222 to give $ 10 to the ACLU. The ACLU will call you to explain other actions you can take to help. Visit www.hmgf.org/t for terms. #StandForRights2017

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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In Honor of Feud Season 2, a Timeline of Princess Diana & Prince Charles’ Most Dramatic Moments From Their Marriage

Princess Diana, Prince CharlesIf there’s one marriage stronger than the iron gates surrounding Buckingham Palace, it’s the irrefutable bond between the British royal family and scandal.
For decades, scratch…

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29 Emotional First Look Moments That Will Turn Your Heart To Mush

At times, words fall short and a facial expression really says it all. 

One of those occasions is during the “first look” at a wedding when the couple sets up a special time to see each other all dressed up prior to the ceremony. The raw, beautiful reactions of the brides and grooms captured in the photos below are proof that true love is all it’s cracked up to be and more. 

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The 5 Most Political Moments From New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017

New York Fashion Week wasn’t just about clothes this year ― it was also about the message. 

This February, designers finally began making some bold moves toward inclusivity and diversity. But other shows also became political acts of resistance, like when LSR sent models down the runway in clothes denouncing President Trump’s Muslim travel ban and proposed wall between Mexico and the U.S. Or when designers and models wore white bandanas to signal they were part of the opposition, and pink Planned Parenthood pins to show their support. 

No matter the action, however big or small, the fashion world made it clear it won’t tolerate the intolerance found in the current political climate. 

1. “F**k Your Wall” clothing. 

Mexican-born designer Raul Solis had a clear-cut message for Donald Trump in his LSR NYFW show. He printed “No Ban, No Wall” and “F**k Your Wall” on models’ underwear. Solis told Dazed Digital he opposed Trump’s wall because the designer’s family is “first generation Mexican and some had to migrate to the U.S., [so] this issue is something extremely personal to me.” 

2. Trolling Trump with his signature slogan.

Public School New York put a fun spin on Donald Trump’s campaign hat and made it their own. They put the slogan on a cropped sweatshirt and hats for the show.  

3. White bandanas for solidarity, unity and inclusiveness.

The news site Business of Fashion started the bandana movement to show solidarity during a time of turmoil. Designers like Tommy Hilfiger, Prabal Gurung, Tommy Hilfiger, Thakoon, Phillip Lim, and Diane von Furstenberg either incorporated the bandanas into their shows or simply wore them.  

4. “This Is Not America” music. 

Raf Simons’ Calvin Klein debut included a mix of David Bowie’s 1985 song, “This Is Not America.” Attendees were also given white bandanas to wear before the show started. 

5. Fashion’s Planned Parenthood stance. 

Thanks to a partnership between the CFDA and Planned Parenthood, over 40 designers joined forces to include PP pins at their shows. The pins were also given out to PR people, modeling agencies, influencers and press throughout NYFW, along with a pamphlet outlining all the services Planned Parenthood offers.

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Style – The Huffington Post
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13 Joyful Real Wedding Moments That Are Sweet As Can Be

Mondays stink but these lovely real wedding photos from our readers are helping us get through the day.

Check them out, in all their sweetness, below: 

If you go to a wedding or get married yourself, hashtag your photos #HPrealweddings or e-mail one to us afterward and we may feature it on the site! Please include the couple’s names as well as the date and location of the wedding.

For more real wedding photos, check out the slideshow below:

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A Timeline of the Most Memorable Super Bowl Beauty Moments

We picked the top 13 beauty looks from previous Super Bowl halftime shows and put them in one place for your viewing pleasure.
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Gigi Hadid was recently seen wearing a pair of naked shoes, similar to the one Kendall Jenner previously wore.
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15 Winter Wedding Moments With Plenty Of Love To Warm Your Heart

Temperatures dropped this weekend but the snowy weather didn’t stop our readers from making the most of their wedding celebrations.

Below, 15 real wedding moments with lots and lots of love.

If you go to a wedding or get married yourself, hashtag your photos #HPrealweddings or e-mail one to us afterward and we may feature it on the site! Please include the couple’s names as well as the date and location of the wedding.

For more real wedding photos, check out the slideshow below:

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TooLoud It?s the Little Moments that Make Life Big Childrens T-Shirt

TooLoud It?s the Little Moments that Make Life Big Childrens T-Shirt

Unique, Authentic, copyrighted design by TooLoud (Trademark) brand. Printed in the USA with pride! Be reminded that it’s the little moments that make life big with this inspirational design. These fun printed garments are a great personal touch on you, or as a gift to a friend or loved one! Great for all-year-round too! Colors may differ from image, as each monitor is made and calibrated differently. This is not an unauthorized replica or counterfeit item. This is an original inspired design and does not infringe on any rights holders rights. The words used in the title and/or search terms are not intended to imply they are licensed by any rights holders.

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11 Of The Best Body Positive Fashion Moments In 2016

The fashion industry is still working its way to real size inclusivity, but it undoubtedly played a major role in shifting toward more body positivity in the media ― and among those who consume it.

In 2016, there were champions of body positivity starring in major campaigns and magazine covers and wearing store-bought awards show dresses instead of conforming to strict sample sizes.  

Because we could all use a reminder of some of the good things that happened this year, check out 11 body positive moments in fashion below. 

1. Ashley Graham’s history-making Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

Graham’s February cover marked the first time a plus-size model headlined the hotly anticipated Swimsuit Issue, leading the way for her incredibly fruitful year ahead.

2. Bryce Dallas Howard calls out the industry for its lack of options.

Howard revealed in January that she often buys her own dresses at department stores instead of borrowing from sample-size-loving designers, so that she can choose from “lots of options for a size 6, as opposed to maybe one option.” She both won the hearts of women everywhere and pointed out how truly size-exclusive fashion can be. 

3. Christian Siriano’s Spring 2017 runway show.

The designer is a longtime advocate of inclusivity and champion of great style for women of all shapes and sizes. He further proved that there’s a place for varied bodies on the runway when he cast five plus-size models in his show at New York Fashion Week. 

4. The All Woman Project.

Co-founded by models Clementine Desseaux and Charli Howard, this empowering campaign was organized to shake up the industry standards of beauty and offer up new role models for underrepresented women.

5. Jasmine Tookes’ unretouched Fantasy Bra photos.

The news that Tookes is the third black woman ever chosen to wear the elaborate bra was cause for celebration, but this behind-the-scenes image released by the brand, proudly featuring the model’s stretch marks, was the icing on the body positive cake. 

6. Refinery29’s 67% Project.

Today's #InstagramStories wants you to #SeeThe67 Photographed by @alexandra_gavillet

A photo posted by Refinery29 (@refinery29) on

Refinery29 launched an initiative back in September to more accurately represent the “67 percent of women who identify as ‘plus-size’” in its online content. It partnered with Getty Images to roll out a series of inclusive stock images and committed to featuring more diversity on the site moving forward. 

7. Self Magazine’s final print issue.

Self cast self-love champion and curvy model Iskra Lawrence as its final cover star, leaving a lasting visual message and reminder that health is not one-size-fits-all. 

8. This awe-inspiring take on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

This video, in which women of all shapes and sizes stripped down to their underwear and recreated the VS show in front of friends and colleagues, was super empowering ― plus it just looked plain fun. 

9. These Women’s Running magazine covers. 

The running-focused magazine continued its streak of delighting us when it put a plus-size model on its March cover, and further impressed us by teaming up in November with plus-size model Candice Huffine on Project Start, a running initiative launched by the model and the mag to help beginners get started on their own running programs. 

10. Tim Gunn’s scathing op-ed about the fashion industry. 

Leave it to Tim Gunn to rally for body positivity while throwing the best shade at the same time. Calling out the industry for its lack of choices for women over a certain size, Gunn once again cemented his status as a champion of all women in the pages of The Washington Post. “I profoundly believe that women of every size can look good. But they must be given choices,” he said, calling out designers as “not interested” in catering to women over a certain size. “This is a design failure and not a customer issue. There is no reason larger women can’t look just as fabulous as all other women,” he said.

11. Ashley Graham’s British Vogue cover.

Ashley Graham both kicks off and signs off this list, as there’s no denying her impact in fashion in 2016. She nabbed a ton of covers throughout the year, but became the first plus-size model to cover British Vogue in December, giving us hope for the year ahead and beyond.  

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Style – The Huffington Post
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5 Black Beauty Moments That Stole The Spotlight In 2016

Let’s be real, 2016 was filled with so many magical black girl beauty moments. From music videos to magazine covers, black women rocked them all. 

On Thursday’s episode of the “BV Breakdown” ― HuffPost Black Voices’ bi-weekly show devoted to all things black culture ― Essence’s digital fashion and beauty director Julee Wilson joined as a guest to reflect on a few of her favorite show-stopping looks.

This list is by no means comprehensive (we’d be here all day if it were) but to give you a glimpse, here are five of Wilson’s most memorable black beauty moments from this year: 

1. Solange’s “A Seat At The Table” Album Cover

Solange released her third studio album in September and blessed us with an incredible cover image to go with it. The artist’s bold brows, barely-there makeup and multicolored duckbill hair clips fit the unapologetic tone of her album perfectly, and even inspired a wave of Solange Halloween costumes

”This will forever be an iconic image. I think that she has just really pushed the envelope stylistically with her music, but also [with her] fashion and beauty,” Wilson said. “This ‘Seat At The Table’ album was such a beautiful homage to black women and I love that she went this very creative, abstract route for her album cover.”

2. Any Of Alicia Keys’ “No Makeup” Looks

Alicia Keys set off a major beauty movement when she announced her commitment to go makeup-free. While her choice to relinquish her makeup routine sparked both cheers and criticism, Keys looks as beautiful as ever with her sans-makeup look.  

“Everyone was talking about it when Alicia Keys wrote that ‘Lenny Letter’ essay about forgoing makeup. I think it was really powerful,” said Wilson. “I wear makeup. I’m wearing makeup right now. I think my makeup is on fleek … but I think it’s just a beautiful stance for a woman, any where, any how, to say, ‘I’m just going to let you see me for me.’” 

3. Gabby Douglas’ Bold Lipstick At The Olympics

Gabby Douglas won an Olympic gold medal with her “Final Five” teammates in Rio this year, “but she also gets a gold medal for this makeup look,” Wilson said. Douglas’ crimson lipstick caught our eye the moment that she stepped up to start her routine. 

“Some people tried to come for her hair again, but she wasn’t playing those games,” Wilson said. “I love that she really brushed the haters off this year and I think she stepped into this womanhood. I feel like that lipstick was really a moment to be like, ‘I’m grown. Don’t come for me. I’m a badass athlete. I’m a gold medal Olympian.”

4. Lupita Nyong’o’s Towering Met Gala Hair

Actress Lupita Nyong’o abandoned her signature close-cropped cut and opted to take her hair to new heights at this year’s Met Gala. While Vogue compared the look to Aubrey Hepburn, Nyong’o and her hairstylist Vernon Francois actually drew inspiration for the ‘do from Nina Simone and African traditions. 

“They just have such an amazing partnership and they came up with this beautiful hairstyle, which is a homage to lots of different hairstyles from the past,” Wilson said of Nyong’o and Francois’ friendship. “Nina Simone had a hairstyle like this… I think it was beautiful that [Nyong’o] chose to do it on the biggest red carpet for fashion.” 

5. Sasha Obama’s Standout Cornrow Braids

The White House’s Canadian state dinner was filled with all sorts of stunning looks, but Sasha Obama’s braids, which she paired with winged eyeliner and a choker, stole the show.

“I feel like everyone was doing those two cornrow braids, dutch braids, and she just did it in such a chic, beautiful, new way,” Wilson said. “It’s also a great nod to black hair and braids… You know she could have gone for the sleek cut, but I love that she did this.” 

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Style – The Huffington Post
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22 Heartwarming Moments Between Brides And Their Grandmas

Brides have found all kinds of sweet ways to include their grandmas in their weddings, whether it’s as a bridesmaid or flower girl, or with a shout-out in the program or a designated seat for her at the ceremony.

In honor of these strong, loving women, we’ve compiled 22 wedding photos that celebrate the special bond between grandma and granddaughter. 

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14 Real Wedding Moments That Will Make It A December To Remember

Eat, drink and be married!

Our readers who said their “I dos” this weekend filled their big days with lots of love and holiday cheer. See some photos from their celebrations below:  

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Jennifer Lawrence’s Best Hair and Makeup Moments Ever

If there’s anything more unpredictable and un-boring than Jennifer Lawrence at any red-carpet event, it’s Jennifer Lawrence’s hair and makeup at any red-carpet event. Much like her funny antics and clumsy tendencies, her try-anything beauty attitude has a way of making us love her even more than her onscreen brilliance. From the effortlessly chic to the borderline shocking, here are 15 favorite Jennifer Lawrence beauty memories.
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TooLoud It?s the Little Moments that Make Life Big – Color Childrens Dark T-Shirt

TooLoud It?s the Little Moments that Make Life Big – Color Childrens Dark T-Shirt

Unique, Authentic, copyrighted design by TooLoud (Trademark) brand. Printed in the USA with pride! Be reminded that it’s the little moments that make life big with this inspirational design. These fun printed garments are a great personal touch on you, or as a gift to a friend or loved one! Great for all-year-round too! Colors may differ from image, as each monitor is made and calibrated differently. This is not an unauthorized replica or counterfeit item. This is an original inspired design and does not infringe on any rights holders rights. The words used in the title and/or search terms are not intended to imply they are licensed by any rights holders.

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Scarlett Johansson’s Best Beauty Moments

Scarlett Johansson has whispered to horses on the big screen and whispered hoarsely on an album of Tom Waits songs; she has been a blonde bombshell and Black Widow; and she has officially earned more money at the box office than any other actress in history. (Plus she just opened a gourmet popcorn shop in Paris.) Through all of her incarnations, she balances offbeat style with sex appeal—as is evident in our favorite looks.
Allure
Reddit user moniquey is going viral for a new color-changing hair trend that appears to switch her hair between pink and blue.
Allure
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MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

Iconic Moments in Beverly Hills, 90210 Fashion History: The Denim, the Bangs, the Dueling Spring Dance Dresses & More

Beverly Hills 90210If Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered while you were still in elementary school, then you spent a fair amount of time thinking about what high school would be like, with its parking lot full of BMWs…

E! Online (US) – Fashion Police

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Disney Princess Favorite Moments Belle Fairy Tale Scene Playset Toy

Disney Princess Favorite Moments Belle Fairy Tale Scene Playset Toy


Disney Princess Favorite Moments Belle Fairy Tale Scene Playset Toy Based On Disney’s Classic Beauty & The Beast. Girls Can Recreate Their Favorite Fairytale Moments. Recommended Age: 3 Years & Up. Model: R4890. Features Belle, Chip, Mrs. Pots & Furniture From The Movie
List Price: $ 9.99
Price: $ 9.99

Yo-Kai Watch Series 1 Medal Moments Wave 6 Case

Yo-Kai Watch Series 1 Medal Moments Wave 6 Case


Catch the spirit – and we mean that! The Yo-Kai Watch Medal Moments let you grab on to strange spirits and mischievous miscreants, and each figure includes a nifty medallion. Figures measure approximately 2 1/2-inches tall. Ages 4 and up. Case has 8 individually packaged figures: 1x YKA S1 MM ROBONYAN 1x YKA S1 MM JIBANYAN 100 PUNCH 1x YKA S1 MM HAPPIERRE 2x YKA S1 MM GLOW IN THE DARK WHISPER 1x YKA S1 MM WAZZAT 1x YKA S1 MM CHEEKSQUEEK 1x YKA S1 MM WALKAPPA (subject to change)
List Price: 49.99
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The Best Bond Girl Beauty Moments

For the past 53 years, Bond girls have served as a barometer of the era’s biggest beauty trends, from bouffants and braids to contours and smoky eyes.
The latest from allure.com
Celebrities—they’re just like us: They flip through old photo albums, bust out elementary-school yearbooks, and call their moms, all in the hopes of finding that one perfectly adorable back-in-the-day photo to share every time a Thursday rolls around. Here, the celebrity #TBT posts that made us aww and LOL and wish we’d known our favorite stars way back when.
The latest from allure.com
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MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

The 13 Most Major Girl-Group Beauty Moments

Some of the best (and most extreme) beauty looks have come to us from the music world. In particular, girl groups throughout history have produced some seriously strong style moments, starting way back with the bouffants of the Supremes and continuing on to the wavy-haired girls of Haim. Here, we take a look at the evolution of girl-group beauty over the past 50 years.
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Learn what perioral dermatitis is, the symptoms to watch out for, and how to prevent it.
The latest from allure.com
MillionaireMatch.com - the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!
MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

Disney Princess Snow White Favorite Moments Deluxe Gift Set Toy

Disney Princess Snow White Favorite Moments Deluxe Gift Set Toy


Disney Princess Snow White Favorite Moments Deluxe Gift Set Toy Includes: Snow White Doll; Three Interchangeable Fashions; Three Dwarf Dolls; Prince Doll; White Horse; Bed. In A Zippered Vinyl Carrying Case. Recommended Age: 3 Years & Up. Model: P5372
List Price: $ 34.95
Price: $ 34.95

Natalie Portman Explains What She Learned Going Through ‘Dark Moments’ At Harvard

Attending Harvard University, said actress Natalie Portman, “changed the very questions I was asking.”

Portman, a 2003 graduate of Harvard, was the keynote speaker at Harvard College’s Class Day on Wednesday. Portman joked up front that she had wanted some comedy writers for her speech because at her Class Day, Will Ferrell was their hilarious speaker. She didn’t get anyone to help her craft jokes, she said, and so Portman’s speech largely focused on her explaining how she confronted her own doubts when she went to Harvard.

In high school, she was voted most likely to be a contestant on “Jeopardy,” which Portman said was “code for nerdy.” But when Portman came to Harvard, after the 1999 release of “Star Wars: Episode I” that she starred in, she was worried she’d be viewed as unworthy and only gotten in because of her fame.

“I got in only because I was famous — this is how others viewed me and how I viewed myself,” Portman admitted. Portman said she would have some “pretty dark moments” as a Harvard student.

“There were several occasions I started crying in meetings with professors, overwhelmed with what I was supposed to pull off when I could barely get out of bed in the morning,” she recounted.

class day

Bouncing between researching about underground groups for her role in “V for Vendetta” and making the stoner comedy “Your Highness,” among other films, Portman said she learned to find her own meaning and not have her success determined by box office receipts.

Portman learned as she studied for her role in “Black Swan” that “the only thing that separates you from others is your quirks, or even flaws.”

“There was a reason I was an actor,” Portman said, “because I love what I do and I saw from my peers and my mentors that was not only an acceptable reason, that was the best reason.”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Cialis Moments in Harvard Yard

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Every once in a while all your ducks line up and you’re sitting pretty. You have one of those Cialis moments with the wife. You get a parking space in front of the house or if you’re younger you get accepted to Harvard and laid on the same day. Or you have a Cialis moment in Harvard yard, say at the 40 or even 50th class reunion. All the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit together. You begin to think there’s a divine order at work. It’s a little like Pascal’s Wager. Why not believe that God exists and all is well with the world? What’s to be lost? Similarly, why not shoot for snake eyes? The answer is that happiness is like the brick wall that you’re always butting your head up against when you can’t get any of these things. Is a state of being in which you have satisfied all your yearnings necessarily that enjoyable when all you have to look forward to is a downhill ride? You and your significant other stare at each other over candlelight at the romantic French place you go to for celebrations, admiring each other shitfaced grins and feeling relatively restless, bored and discontent. Yes, the stars seem to have become aligned, but you start to feel an anxiety in the pit of your stomach. What about tomorrow? You’ve gotten into Harvard, but you’re not necessarily going to get into Harvard Law or you’re fighting, miss the Cialis moment and actually get a ticket for parking in front of the hydrant you didn’t notice, as you slammed the car door shut. Or you’re a drug addict and you drop the vial, elixir or pill that was going to make everything right and find yourself on the floor of a public bathroom trying to lick up powder amidst the shards of broken glass. Yes you’ve fallen that low in your need to get those ducks lined up again. You begin to feel Pascal’s Wager is a losing proposition to the extent that it’s left out a whole reality in which chaos and unreason predominate and God doesn’t exist at all.

photo of Harvard Yard by Mancala

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy’s blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, culture and art}
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Top 10 Moments From a Blockbuster Year for the Freedom to Marry

2014 was another blockbuster year for the freedom to marry. In January gay couples could marry in 19 states. By December that number had skyrocketed to 35 — covering two thirds of the American people. The momentum for marriage is off the charts, and the joy and security marriage brings are now shared by millions of gay Americans — and their families, their friends, and their communities. The conversation about the freedom to marry and gay people is now underway in every corner of the country.

But winning is not won, and it’s not a done deal until it’s done. Couples in 15 states are still denied the freedom to marry, and even those living in freedom-to-marry states risk discrimination and instability as they travel, work, or visit family and friends in other parts of the country. As we redouble our work to finish the job next year, let’s remember and celebrate the top 10 marriage moments of 2014.


Weddings – The Huffington Post
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23 Moments From 2014 Women Are Happy To Leave Behind

worst moments for women

Between Beyoncé’s awesome feminist performance at the VMAs, the #YesAllWomen movement on Twitter and Malala Yousafzai winning the Nobel Peace Prize, 2014 was quite the year for women. Unfortunately, you can’t have progress without a few setbacks.

We’ve rounded up 23 of the worst moments for women in 2014 to remind everyone that gender equality has definitely not been achieved yet. Here’s to moving forward in 2015.

These are 23 moments we’re happy to leave in 2014, in no particular order:

Here’s hoping for a shorter list next year.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Happy 69th Birthday Goldie Hawn! The Sexy Star’s Greatest Moments On TV And Film

Happy birthday, Goldie Hawn! Our favorite blonde bombshell turns 69 today and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by taking a look back at her best moments over the decades.

And no — we assure you, that’s not Goldie’s lookalike daughter, Kate Hudson. Yes, Hawn and her daughter, 35, still look a lot alike — even though Goldie is nearing 70. With her feathery, blonde hair and those bright-blue doe eyes, it’s easy to see why.

Hawn originally started her career in dance, quickly landing a role in Disney’s “The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band,” where she met Kurt Russell, who would later become her long-time love. She also appeared regularly on Rowan & Martin’s “Laugh-In” in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It wasn’t long before Hollywood was taking notice of her vivacious, bubbly persona. She went on to win an Oscar for her performance in “Cactus Flower,” and enjoyed other memorable roles in films like “The First Wives Club” and “Private Benjamin.”

But Hawn’s personal life has been just as intriguing as her professional career — most notably, her long-term romance with fellow actor, Kurt Russell. They’ve been together over 30 years — a Hollywood anomaly.

She’s also, of course, known for her bombshell good looks (she posed for Playboy in the ’80s). But earlier this year, she was scrutinized for her appearance at the Oscars — with speculation that she’d gone overboard with plastic surgery.

But we’ll repeat now what we said then, Goldie, we love you just the way you are.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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The Best Way To Own 10 Totally Awkward Moments

Even if you can’t admit that you’re a slightly…awkward person, you’re bound to stumble upon a few uncomfortable moments here and there.

Whether it’s as simple as an ungraceful trip (to the ground, not in economy class) or as intricate as the dance of “walk-balking,” it often seems that there’s no way to come out on top of the situation — except to just OWN it.

To help you deal with these unavoidable awkward scenarios, we’ve partnered with Sanuk, the footwear brand that makes sure you’re never uncomfortable, to bring you awesome ways to totally own the moment. You’re welcome!

1. When you wave at someone who is actually waving at the person behind you

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Own it: Your hand is already suspended in mid-air, so pretend you are royalty and grace everyone you see with a genteel wave. Confused onlookers will have no choice but to nod politely…and frantically google you once you’re out of range.

2. You trip in the most public and non-graceful way possible

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Own it:Immediately launch into a set of burpees. Everyone will applaud your creation of an all-terrain exercise regimen.

3. Opening the bathroom stall when someone is still — er — doing their business

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Own it: Withdraw immediately, with eyes fixed on the ground. Ask your new friend if they’d like any additional toilet paper — or a refreshment.

4. When you hug someone who was leaning in for a handshake

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Own it: Everyone needs a hug, so lean in, confident in the knowledge that you, Hugger, make life better for the poor, reserved Handshakers of the world. (If necessary, reduce intimacy with a back-pat.)

5. When you walk-balk, otherwise known as sidewalk salsa, otherwise known as the least dangerous game of Chicken ever played

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Own it: Choose a direction, build up a head of steam and refuse to compromise. Your unbridled confidence will force the other, lesser walk-balker to head the other direction.

6. When you go in for a high five and receive a fist bump in return

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Own it: Grab their fist and shake it, then continue into an elaborate best friend handjive (that only you know).

7. When no one tells you there’s food stuck in your teeth

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Own it: Shout “yum, leftovers!” to whoever was kind enough to point the food out to you.

8. Being told you’re completely mispronouncing a word

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Own it: Say you have not, in fact, been mispronouncing the word, but have instead been using the British pronunciation. Then quickly continue the conversation so no one can question your reasoning. (Be sure to never make the same mistake again.)

9. When your parents walk in the room at the most inappropriate part of a movie

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Own it:Explain to your parents that you are, in fact, an adult. It’s also not your fault they possess an uncanny ability to walk in during each and every sex scene. Insinuate that they are the ones seeking out inappropriate movie moments.

10. Running into your ex when you’re clearly not looking your best

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Own it: We give up. There is actually no way to own this. We advise using a nearby pole or trash can for cover, and making a quick escape.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Blue Precious Moments Bible NKJV

Blue Precious Moments Bible NKJV


Give a special young lad a hardcover Bible in a sweet “small hands” size. New packaging makes it the perfect gift for any occasion. Includes a “read the Bible through in a year” outline, many full-color pages, and the full text of the New King James Version Bible. Also available in pink for girls.
List Price: $ 17.99
Price: $ 17.99

Pink Precious Moments Bible NKJV

Pink Precious Moments Bible NKJV


Give a special young girl a hardcover Bible in a sweet “small hands” size. New packaging makes it the perfect gift for any occasion. Includes a “read the Bible through in a year” outline, many full-color pages, and the full text of the New King James Version Bible. Also available in blue for boys.
List Price: $ 17.99
Price: $ 17.99

Celebrate Nick Lachey’s Birthday With His Most Awkward Moments

Happy birthday Nick Lachey!

Today, the 98 Degrees lead singer turns the big 4-0. Vanessa Minnillo’s beau has much to celebrate: the Package Tour (with his group, Boyz II Men and New Kids On The Block) was a huge summer success, his wife shares the same birthday as him and their son Camden turned one in September!

Lachey has come a long way since his ’90s boy band beginnings. Need proof? We dug up some of his most awkward moments in pop history to toast his milestone. Cheers, Nick!

Nick recently became a spokesperson of sorts for the new Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger. He even serenaded the sandwich with help from fans’ tweets for the #PretzelLoveSongs campaign. Well okay then.
nick lachey

The time he and Snoop Dogg hung out at The Eden Roc Renaissance in Miami, Florida. You can just feel the weirdness, fo shizzle.
nick lachey

Supporting a charity is cool (in this case it was Dance to Erase MS). Wearing silly outfits and making this face with your brother is not.
nick lachey

Remember when ex-wife Jessica Simpson forced Nick to taste test her Dessert Treats lotion line? The fact that the product launch was nontoxic is seriously troubling. Gag.
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Holy moly. The stylist who chose this 2004 magazine cover ensemble needs to be fired.
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Before E! made her a household name, Kim Kardashian briefly dated Nick. He admitted the romance was probably for her fame-climbing benefit.
kim kardashian nick lachey

Lachey experimented with his own album that debuted a decade ago. It was decent and everything, but the title “SoulO” is cringeworthy.
nl

After going solo, Nick confused himself with Justin Timberlake. Yes your dick is in a box but where’s the effort? You’re not JT’s R&B alter ego Raif. Nice try though.
nl2
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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