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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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Anacostia News

Food Hall Benning Market Is Slated to Open East of the Anacostia River

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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D.C.’s food hall boom is still going, and Northeast’s River Terrace neighborhood off of Benning Road is the next to get a Union Market lookalike.

The Washington Business Journal reports that developer Neighborhood Development Co. is hoping to open the 11,200-square-foot Benning Market at 3451 Benning Road NE this fall.

The idea is to outfit Benning Market with a wide range of food stalls, and a brewery or co-working space could also be in the mix. The project’s currently raised $191,000 on crowdfunding site Small Change, meeting its minimum goal, and Neighborhood Development Company’s CEO and founder Adrian Washington’s got big plans for the area.

Read more Eatery DC

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Anacostia News

Chase Bank To Open In Historic Anacostia As Neighborhood Experiences Retail Transformation

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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JPMorgan Chase will replace a local restaurant in Historic Anacostia with a bank branch as part of its D.C. expansion. The deal is the latest in a series of major regional and national companies planning moves to the Southeast D.C. neighborhood that is poised for a major transformation in the coming years.

Landlord Curtis Investment Group signed the nation’s largest bank at 2200 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, the storefront where Uniontown Bar & Grill closed its business in recent months. Within three blocks of that space, national coffee giant Starbucks and regional restaurant chain Busboys and Poets are preparing to open their first east-of-the-river locations, and multiple developments are planned that will bring new housing and office space to the historic neighborhood.  Charles Wilson, a former ANC commissioner and head of multiple Anacostia neighborhood groups, first reported on his blog that Chase would replace Uniontown, and Curtis Investment Group confirmed it to Bisnow. Wilson said Uniontown was having problems and became less popular among neighbors in recent years, so people were not too disappointed to see it close, but he said many wish it had been replaced by another restaurant.  “It’s mixed feelings, because we’re losing a restaurant in a neighborhood that desperately needs more sit-down restaurants,” Wilson said.

“There are three or four banks within less than a square mile — Bank of America, PNC Bank and Industrial Bank — so you begin to ask what’s the value of another banking facility … another restaurant or café or some type of eating facility would have been great.” JPMorgan Chase announced in September it would invest $10M in driving economic growth in Wards 7 and 8, D.C.’s most historically underserved communities. Wilson said the new branch could be a positive if it helps spur more investment.  “Any time you have another banking partner who wants to make sincere investments in projects like the 11th Street Bridge, there’s definitely good things to come out of that,” Wilson said.

Busboys and Poets, a restaurant chain known for opening in parts of the city undergoing dramatic change, began constructing its Anacostia location in October 2016. The opening date has been pushed back multiple times, but neighborhood business leader Duane Gautier said he sees people working on it every day and expects it to be open by the spring. Busboys owner Andy Shallal did not immediately return a request for comment.  Gautier is CEO of Arch Development, an Anacostia-based nonprofit that runs multiple business incubators and art galleries in the neighborhood. He said Busboys will be a big step up from Uniontown and could create momentum for additional openings.  “I think it’s a positive, but it’s not going to be the savior of Anacostia, which it has been touted to be,” Gautier said of Busboys. “It will draw in people. A couple local restaurants are happy it’s moving in because people will come down and go to Busboys but not always, so we think it’s going to spur other small cafés and restaurants.”

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/washington-dc/news/neighborhood/chase-bank-to-open-in-historic-anacostia-as-corridor-experiences-retail-transformation-91855?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

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‘Black-Ish’ Creator Kenya Barris Sets Exclusive Netflix Deal

Urban Marketing Group Staff

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix says it’s signed “black-ish” creator Kenya Barris to an exclusive production agreement.

The multi-year deal announced Thursday makes Barris the latest prominent TV creator to jump from broadcast and cable to the streaming platform.

Barris’ Peabody-winning “black-ish” aired on ABC, and he produced the spinoff “grown-ish” for the network’s Disney Co. sibling, Freeform.

He ended his ABC Studios contract early after ABC declined to air a “black-ish” episode that reportedly addressed issues including the NFL player protests.

Read more at US News

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