Ron Finley: Gangsta Gardener

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Meet Ron Finley, a man who will not sit still and watch a problem take root. Having grown up in the South Central Los Angeles food prison, Ron is familiar with the area’s lack of fresh produce. He knew what it’s like to drive 45 minutes just to get a fresh tomato.

In 2010, he set out to fix the problem. Outside his front door, that is. Ron planted vegetables in the curbside dirt strip next to his home. And quietly, carefully, tenderly started a revolution. I wanted a carrot without toxic ingredients I didn’t know how to spell, says Ron.

His was an exceptionally creative, cost-effective and simple solution; however, it was also an act of spirited rebellion that led to a run-in with the authorities.

The City of Los Angeles owns the “parkways” the neglected dirt areas next to roads where Ron was planting. He was cited for gardening without a permit. This slap on the wrist did little to dissuade his green thumb. So Ron fought back. Hard. He started a petition with fellow green activists, demanding the right to garden and grow food in his neighborhood and then, the city backed off.

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This caught the eyes of creative leaders and media voices that lauded his courageous act of ebullient defiance. Ron has continued to share his story and vision with the world, giving a TED talk and planning many exciting ways to continue his involvement in mitigating Los Angeles food prisons.

KRST Unity Center- Kwanzaa Celebration 2017

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Just a week ago I went to a Kwanzaa celebration.  It was held at the KRST Unity Center of Afrakan Spiritual Science in Los Angeles.  It is ran by Reverend Dr Richard Byrd and his wife Reverend Erica Byrd.  The center is dedicated to the principles and practices of MAAT. The event itself was free for all to come.  It was nice to see so many black men,women and children having a great time. There was no drama and no fighting .  There were black vendors and musicians that performed.  There was a candle lighting ceremony that highlighted the principles of Kwanzaa. They explained libation and why our ancestors did it. There was a beautiful poem  by poet Tasha Auset.  A rap performance by a young man named Jeremiah Berryman. He was a real talented brother.  He was dropping positive lyrics with no profanity.   There was comedy by Daryl Mooney the son of comedian Paul Mooney. As well as a Kwanzaa play and African dancing. At the intermission the reggae group Fountain of Roots performed. Guest speaker Michael Imhotep from the African History Network had a lecture at the end of the ceremony. I really enjoyed myself.  You could feel the love in the place. It’s nice to be around black people that are comfortable in their own skin.  Everyone I met was really positive.  The vibe was very positive.  But I had such a great time  I thought I would share some of the pictures and videos of the event.

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This brother(above) is Tony B. Conscious. He’s a very talented rapper and spits positive lyrics.  I was joking around with him the whole night.  He is really cool and a down to earth brother.

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This is Tony’s apparel he was selling at the event.  He not only raps but makes t-shirts,beanies,hats,jewelry and is a painter.  He’s a very talented artist.  This brother does it all!  I bought a beanie and t-shirt from him.

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This beautiful sista is Yendi Serwaa. She is a very talented woman in her own right. She makes all these unique crafts and is also a painter.

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These are some of the products(above) she was selling.  Yendi is also on the Board of Directors at the KRST Unity Center.

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This picture(above) is of Reverend Richard Byrd and Herb Alkhemyst.  Byrd is also known as Meri Ka Ra.  It was a pleasure to meet the elder.  He was a very nice man.  The lovely Alkhemyst is a singer/songwriter and herbalist.

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Koshana Kweli and Kateria Knows also attended the event. Kweli is a spiritual consultant and child care provider. Kateria is an amazing astrologer and creator of the Real Family Reunion. Kateria spoke at the event about the power of purpose.  It was a great speech. They were really cool and down to earth sistas. It was a pleasure to meet them.

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This picture(above) is with Herb Alkhemyst and her sister Kateria Knows.  They’re pictured with Michael Imhotep. He has a blogtalk radio program called African History Network. Imhotep gave a very powerful lecture at the event.  I got a chance to chat with Imhotep for about thirty minutes after the event.  I even bought a few of his dvd’s.

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This was their first annual Kwanzaa event.  They say they will do more in the future. I’ll definitely try to attend the event again.  It was just a really nice way to end the year.  Black people talking about black unity,black economics,African culture,black history,black relationships,black unity and black love.  And those are the things we all need to carry on into 2018. ❤

Meghan Markle: Redefining Black female identity?

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Since there’s so much talk about biracial actress Meghan Markle,here’s a few pictures and videos.  Some peopel ahve told me they aren’t familiar with her. Some think she might turn out to be some so-called pro-black mulatto like Jesse Williams or Colin Kaepernick.  But I can assure you she is nothing of the sort.  Especially once you know her background.These videos and pictures should give you a better since what Markle is really about.  Her upcoming wedding to Prince Harry is not a win for black women. And not for black people as a whole either.  The royals achieved  their wealth and power through murdering and enslaving African people. And shouldn’t be celebrated at all.

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Markle as a child pictured with her father, Thomas Markle and nephew.

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This photo(above) is of Markle as the homecoming queen in high school. She attended the private,Catholic, Immaculate Heart High school in Los Angeles.

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This photo(above) is Markle at Northwestern University in Illinois.  Markle was in the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. Were there any black women in the sorority?  Doesn’t look like it to me.

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Here’s a recent picture(above) of Markle and her mother,Doria Radlan.

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Some people are not aware that Markle is divorced.  This picture(above) is of her ex-husband film producer Trevor Engelson.

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This is a picture(above) of Markle with ex-boyfriend Canadian chef  Cory Vitiello.  Reports say she was dating Vitiello at the time,when she met prince Harry.  They say Harry asked for her phone number.  Next thing you know…Vitiello is a memory.  Guess she wanted to move up in the world.   I can’t seem to find any pictures of her with black boyfriends.  So I will assume she never dated any.  Markle has said in an interview that she is an “other”.  Even though she has a black mother,her life in Los Angeles seems primarily white.  Her parents divorced when she was sic years old. Her private high school was mostly white too.  So I would say she’s a mixed race woman that is more white-idenitified than anything else.  The fact that she is now marrying a so-called royal is nothing to get excited about.  I hoped this post gave you a better understanding of Markle and her upbringing.  She’s not one of us.

Alexys Johnson

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This stunning chocolate beauty is Alexys Johnson. Alexys has the type of beauty that could stop traffic.  She looks like an African goddess. I don’t know much about her other than she’s a model out of Los Angeles.  Please let me know if you have any other information on her. She has an Instagram and Twitter account. All I know is she is serious wifey material!lol

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Jada Crawley (Athlete Wife edition)

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Jada Crawley is the wife of NBA player Chris Paul.  Paul plays for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kiara Kabukuru

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A native of Kampala, Uganda, Kiara Kabukuru fled the country with her family as a political refugee at the age of six. At age sixteen, Kabukuru was discovered at a local shopping mall in her adopted hometown, Los Angeles, California, by fashion photographer Bill Bodwell; she quickly captured the attention of the industry’s most esteemed photographers and designers, and garnered praise for her consummate professionalism, youthful joie de vivre, and soulful expression.

Kabukuru received her big break courtesy of a Coca-Cola campaign, which led to star turns in advertising promotions for DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, and Clinique, the latter photographed by Mario Testino. The venerable photographer also captured her for a series of Gucci advertisements during the height of Tom Ford’s reign as the house’s creative director. Additional Kabukuru-led campaigns include Chanel, Calvin Klein, and Dolce & Gabbana, among others.

In 1997, Kabukuru appeared on a groundbreaking cover of Vogue – the ninth model of color to grace an issue in the magazine’s 127-year history. Shortly thereafter, she also appeared on the covers of Vogue Spain, and Germany, in addition to Elle UK, and i-D magazine photographed by Craig McDean. Kabukuru also sat for legendary lensmen Peter Lindbergh, Steven Klein, Ruven Afanador, and Paolo Roversi for various editorial features.

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However, in 2000, her red-hot career was suddenly halted after a near-fatal cycling accident in New York City. Kabukuru was set to sign a deal with CoverGirl cosmetics when she was hit by an 18-wheeler and dragged along the city pavement. Kabukuru spent two months in a wheelchair with broken bones and sustained injuries, and required seven reconstructive surgeries over the course of nearly one decade.

In 2008, Kabukuru re-emerged stronger, and more beautiful than ever, and at the advice of her good friend and fellow model Gisele Bündchen, began modeling again. Steven Meisel photographed her for the seminal Black Issue of Vogue Italia, and Pierpaolo Ferrari, and Bruce Weber recently photographed her for CR Fashion Book. Select editorial features include W, and Porter magazine, the print offshoot of luxury e-tailer Net-a-Porter, among others.

Kabukuru had a homecoming of sorts when she appeared in a series of campaigns for CoverGirl, and walked in Tom Ford’s prêt-à-porter collection during the fall of 2013 season. Additional catwalk appearances include Christian Dior, Missoni, Givenchy, and Armani.

Off-duty, Kabukuru is actively involved with Momentum Bike Clubs, an organization dedicated to providing mentoring services to at-risk youth. The group also encourages health and wellness focused activities, and facilitates positive relationship building. As a testament to her commitment to the organization and its young participants, Kabukuru rode a bicycle for the first time since her accident in 2011, and has made several trips to Upstate New York to ride with the club’s youth members, and share her story of resilience and hope.

Additionally, the model citizen recently received a standing ovation from her fashion industry peers when she spoke at the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) pre-fashion week health and wellness summit for new models, alongside Donna Karan, and SELF magazine Editor-in-Chief, Joyce Chang.

In her spare time, Kabukuru is learning sign language. She currently resides in New York City.