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Reopened Frederick Douglass Community Center Gives Technology Boost to D.C. Neighborhood

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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Anacostia Homes

Vacant D.C.-owned properties in Southeast could become affordable housing

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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The District is seeking to have seven vacant properties it owns in Anacostia and Congress Heights redeveloped into affordable housing.

This week, the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) unveiled two development solicitations for the following Southeast sites: 1414 22nd St. SE, 1615 V St. SE, 1637 V St. SE, and 2206 16th St. SE in Anacostia; and 1444, 1452, and 1454 Alabama Ave. SE in Congress Heights, which are adjacent parcels.

Altogether measuring more than 29,000 square feet, the sites are part of a portfolio of dozens of vacant properties that DHCD manages. The Anacostia and Congress Heights properties range in size from 1,865 square feet to 6,277 square feet, per property records.

The housing agency wants redevelopment proposals that would provide units for families making up to roughly $94,000 a year, or 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) for a family of four. Below is a breakdown of AMIs by family size via Arlington County, which is part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria Metro Area as defined by the U.S. government.

Read more by Andrew Glambrone @ Curb HERE

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Business News

The King and the Queen: How LeBron James and Beyoncé are rewriting the rules of celebrity

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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The truest line in Spike Lee’s newest film, BlacKkKlansman, comes courtesy of the president of a college’s Black Student Union. She’s talking to the title character about W.E.B. Du Bois and double consciousness.

“We shouldn’t have a war going on inside ourselves,” she tells him. “We should just be black.”

Maybe the September 2018 cover of Vogue is what it looks like to “just be black.” Or maybe it’s LeBron James striding through the halls of his newly opened I PROMISE public school in Akron, Ohio, and having a conversation with Don Lemon on CNN that drew the ire of the president. Maybe it’s tens of thousands of fans in a stadium going apes— while the Carters close out another On The Run II tour date with “Apes–t.”

The two biggest black celebrities in America, LeBron James and Beyoncé, are both taking big social and artistic swings at the heights of their careers. And they’re doing so as deeply informed, politically engaged citizens, neither of whom went to college. Their actions aren’t defined by vanity or solipsism but by a deliberateness that challenges their audiences to keep up. They have, as sociologist Tressie McMillan-Cottom would say, done the reading.

Read more by @ The Undefeated HERE

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Business News

Game On: awe-inspiring black entrepreneurs in Greater Cincinnati

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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The owners of Mr. Bubbles Auto Detailing are more than just entrepreneurs — they’re leaders of a social innovation.

I showed up to the garage located on East 13th Street in Cincinnati’s Pendleton neighborhood, located just east of Over-the-Rhine, to find that Marvin Butts, owner of Mr. Bubbles, doing what he does best, talking with members of the community. Tabatha Anderson, his partner in life and in business, corralled him in to begin our interview. “It’s time to start,” she says to him.

The mid-summer sun was blazing, heating up the street of the historic Cincinnati neighborhood, and when Marvin joins Tabatha and I in his air-conditioned office, his eyes light up with anticipation to begin.

In earlier conversations with Tabatha, in an attempt to set up the mid-morning interview, I fired off vague and somewhat pretentious suggestions about what we would talk about; like what made them want to jump into business entrepreneurship, or how difficult it is being a black-owned business over the years — maybe they would want to talk about that or their love of the community.

She received my message and was prepared.

Currently, black-owned businesses are a rapidly growing economic force in the United States, which impressive and hard-won considering the challenges that black entrepreneurs face, including lack of startup capital, resources and loans, along with racial discrimination within sectors of financing and technology.

According to the Census Bureau’s snapshot of American businesses, the fraction of companies owned by African-Americans rose between 2007 and 2012. In 2007, 7.1 percent of U.S. companies were headed by an African-American. By 2012, that share had risen to 9.4 percent. It also states that black-owned businesses operate at a far lower rate than other organizations. In 2012, their sales accounted for only 0.6 percent of sales of all American companies.

Marvin and Tabatha have weathered the storm of entrepreneurship, through the good and the bad. Over the past 20 years the two social entrepreneurs have made formidable gains, both behind and in front of the counter. “I attended the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP for fashion design and sports management,” Marvin said. “I never thought I’d be doing what I do today.”

Read  more by Kareem B. Simpson HERE

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