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Régine Labossière is a New York City area blogger and maker with a passion for interior design. Her blog, The 256 Project, is all about making a house a home through food, renovation and design. The 256 Project represents Régine’s interests and pursuits in interiors and her family’s Haitian culture. She writes about design influences, DIY and renovation projects, as well as her Haitian grandmother’s handwritten recipes, with all the mishaps and failures included.

The 256 Project began four years ago when she and her husband purchased their first home, leaving Brooklyn for suburban NJ. She has been able to offer e-design interior decorating services since starting the blog.

Last year, Régine created the Designer Spotlight series on The 256 Project. In the series she interviews interior designers, DIYers, and stylists about their start in the business, their inspiration, learnings from their mistakes and successes, plus their future goals. Her hope is to show the diversity of the designer landscape through these interviews; that not all designers of talent and influence look the same and produce the same product.

In addition, Régine is the creator, designer and maker of women’s clothing line Mitton & La Boss, sold on Etsy. The 256 Project and Mitton & La Boss are just two parts of her eclectic resume. Her career has been in communications, starting out as a reporter for newspapers around the country, before moving to public relations at a strategic communications agency in New York. Her career has taken her to Seattle, Los Angeles, Hartford, and New York City. The 256 Project allows her to combine her skills and passions – writing, interviewing, designing, making – into one creative venue.

Women in Congress courtesy of Cosmopolitan Magazine

Women in Congress courtesy of Cosmopolitan Magazine

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black History Month – which is lived every day, all day, all year every year – means opportunity and I’m seeing it manifest in different ways. First, politically, with a diverse group of new Congresswomen filling more and more seats in the House of Representatives. This gives me hope for how diversity – especially from the perspective of Black women – will help shape policy and move our country in the direction of greater progress.

Secondly, specific to design, I hope brands will see the value in Black interior designers, decorators, stylists and DIYers and offer them opportunities the same way they do white designers and DIYers. Consumers need to see diversity in expertise, products and designs; and we don’t get that by brands only working with a select few. Brands have so much opportunity to treat Black designers like the influencers they are and diversify the playing field.

Third, I’m a new mom. My child is biracial, and half of that child is Haitian. I’m a first-generation American and half of my extended family lives in Haiti. I want my son to know where he comes from and understand what it means to be a person of color and grandchild of immigrants.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Photo courtesy of Influencing in Color on Instagram

Photo courtesy of Influencing in Color on Instagram

Fashion, street style, and art remind me that not only is it okay to be bold and to act as if rules don’t exist; but it’s a must in order for your individual point of view to shine. Those are the areas where I am seeking inspiration this year. I’m also finding inspiration from reading books, which may sound strange, but reading a book allows the imagination to soar and I hope that imagination will positively affect how I blog, design spaces and clothing.

And then there are my go-tos, travel is always a sense of inspiration for no matter what I’m doing. Specific to interiors, I love following what designers and DIYers are doing. As well as reading trend reports to get a sense of how the design conversation will go for the year ahead.

And, of course, I hope to interview more and more designers, DIYers, and stylists for my Designer Spotlight series on The 256 Project. I absolutely love good conversation, and learning from others. I find those interviews to be so inspiring, and they help propel my work forward.

To Learn More About Regine Visit:









Celeste Alexander is from Newport, Rhode Island and  resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She has over 25 years of experience as an interior designer, and is the publisher of Curated Quarters Magazine that features Black interior designers, decorators, and creatives.

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The mission of the magazine is to celebrate the heritage and history of the often-underrepresented African American design community, and their unique contributions to style and home décor. I believe the contributions of African American designers have been overlooked for years in a niche industry that often celebrates the influences from everywhere but Africa, and/or continents with people of color. Residential design has historically relied heavily on colonial and provincial influences associated with France, Italy and England. Due to the cultural differences of the African American experience many of our contributions have been overlooked by the mainstream interior design community. Curated quarters will provide an educational and historic look at the journey of African Americans and other people of color in the space called home.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year for me it means a reflection of how far we have come from slave cabins to living in beautiful homes despite the efforts to disregard our neighborhoods. I look at all the young designers living out their passion creating beautiful spaces. Instagram is trending heavily and has given a rise to the African American designer to showcase and promote their talents. I'm still learning my way around IG, but most magazines do not want to publish photos that have already been seen every where so it could be a disservice. I feel like social media allows designers of color to share their portfolio of work in one place.

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I recently took a trip to Santorini Greece so I'm inspired by the brightness of royal blue. I find that when I travel, I'm inspired to bring culture and heritage back to the home.

To Learn More About Celeste Visit:

Website: curatedquartersmag.com

Instagram: @curatedquartesmag




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My name is Amber Guyton, and I’m the designer and blogger behind Blessed Little Bungalow! I’m a South Carolina native and was raised in Pineville, SC by my mother along with my older sister, and I lived next door to my maternal grandparents. After I graduated from Cross High School, I attended college at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, majoring in Advertising at their School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Over the next few years, I worked in advertising sales in Greenville, SC and Atlanta, GA, and then earned my Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. I moved to San Antonio, Texas in 2015 to continue my career in marketing and product management at a Fortune 100 financial services company. Though I’m climbing the ladder and successful in achieving my professional goals, my creative bucket wasn’t completely being filled. After purchasing my second home, a renovated 1940s bungalow that I fell in love with at first sight, I moved in the same day, I closed and decorated the entire house within a week. When my family and friends came to visit they encouraged me to “do this for real”, meaning putting my creative talent from childhood and love for interior design to use. So with the intent of only starting a blog to share my love for inexpensive home decor, travel, DIYing, and showcase my new home, Blessed Little Bungalow was born in 2016. BLB has since blossomed into a blooming business, connecting my faith, passion and creativity with amazing people everyday, and it’s been such a blessing.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

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Black History is so important because it runs through my veins. We have such a rich history and culture that should be learned, taught and celebrated all year long. I think one doesn’t truly know their self until they know their roots and where they came from. So I make a point to celebrate Black culture at all times – whether it’s through my family reunions, serving with my Sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; or participating in the largest march in the country right here in San Antonio, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I see it as a personal responsibility to those that have come before me and the future kings and queens of our incredible lineage. 

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I find most of my creative inspiration in the environment around me. Whether it’s during my personal travels to Europe or Africa, or a walk down the street in my own neighborhood. Having lived in the South all of my life (South Carolina, Georgia, and now Texas) the architecture, culture and people are what inspire me the most. I believe one’s home should be a reflection of who they are, what they believe in, and what brings them joy. It’s been my privilege to pull those elements out of my clients with every project, and transform their spaces into a sanctuary of their own. 

To Learn More About Amber Visit:








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Southern Home describes Cheryl Luckett’s style as "opulence in reach” with “vintage treasures and ingenious restyles” as essential tools in her design kit. Cheryl believes her clients should dwell in a home they love; a place that gives them a sense of well-being both indoors and out. She describes her design aesthetic as sophisticated but approachable; easy and livable. Launched in 2012, Dwell by Cheryl Interiors continues to grow with clients raving about Cheryl’s ability to transform a space as well as her professionalism and attention to detail.

For more than 15 years Cheryl worked at a Fortune 500 company in Charlotte, North Carolina where she was initially employed as a Registered Dietitian and subsequently a human resources professional in diversity and inclusion. It was here she developed her service skills and business acumen. After much prayer and consideration, Cheryl left her career in Corporate America to utilize her gift as an interior designer full-time.

Not surprising, her work has been published in Charlotte Home and GardenSouthern Home, The Charlotte ObserverQueen City Exclusive, Charlotte Home Décor and Design, and Hoffman Media’s Southern Spaces to name a few.  She currently serves as Brand Ambassador for Revolution Performance Fabrics and in 2018 she launched her first licensed product line, a five piece upholstered furniture collection called Belle by Cheryl Luckett for Sylvester Alexander Furniture.  She is a seven-time recipient of the Best of Houzz Award for Design and Customer Satisfaction and was recently named one of Charlotte’s Best Designers by Charlotte Agenda.  Her southern roots, natural ability, corporate tenure and continuing education have equipped her to be a multi-faceted creative entrepreneur poised for a successful career in the interior design industry. 

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Not sure if it’s my Southern roots, my HBCU collegiate experience, or the fact that my parents placed importance on us knowing where we came from, but Black History has always been important to me.  As an entrepreneur, this year I’m focused on the legacy of entrepreneurship within my own family.  Several years ago, I was informed by a family member that my Great-Great Grandmother sold mail-order furniture and home goods within her rural Mississippi community in the 1930s.  Needless to say, I’ve become fixated on finding out more details.   I am fascinated by the fact that my ancestor was essentially an early decorator in the Black community in the segregated South, providing access to furnishing during a time when access to our community was limited or non-existent.  It makes me proud to know that interior design is not only my passion and profession, it’s in my DNA. 

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I’m having a moment where art is inspiring me right now.  I’m constantly on the hunt for new artists to bring into my clients’ homes, many of whom are beginning collectors.  I love how art can add so much personality and breathe life into a space. 

To Learn More About Cheryl Visit:

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AuthorAngela Belt
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Known as ‘The Afrominimalist,’ Christine A. Platt is a historian and author of African and African-American fiction and fantasy. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida, M.A. in African and African American Studies from The Ohio State University, and J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Christine enjoys writing diverse stories for people of all ages. She currently serves as the Managing Director of The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

It means the same thing to me every year—it serves as a reminder and opportunity to tell our stories, to ensure that our voices are heard, that our history is captured. Storytelling is my divine appointment, and I take this responsibility very seriously. And this year, I am especially grateful to contribute diverse stories to children, in particular, early readers. It’s such a joy!

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Inspiration is all around me! From my work at the Antiracism Center at American University to my curated minimalist home, I am constantly inspired by the resiliency of people of the African diaspora—both past and present.

To Learn More About Christine Visit:

  • Website: christineplatt.com

  • Instagram: @afrominimalist











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Natalie Osborne received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. The following year she accepted a position in Brooklyn, New York as a teaching artist for The Leadership Program Inc. where she taught painting in public schools in Brooklyn and in Harlem. While in New York, Natalie exhibited her paintings in group shows at Rush Arts Brooklyn Gallery. In 2009 she joined Aaron Marx in Toronto, ON to assist in the opening of Studio 561, a contemporary art gallery located in downtown Toronto at Bloor and Bathurst. “We literally lived in the gallery.” In 2011, Natalie returned to Chicago to work with the Downtown Arts Association in their effort to turn empty storefronts in the Loop into Pop Up galleries, working under curator Stuart Hall at Gallery 220 (220 S. Wabash Ave.) In 2014 she opened her online store, selling original paintings and prints. “My paintings are about the strength and purpose that illuminates from within every woman.” 

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

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Black history month is everyday for me. Not a day goes by that I do not think about the sacrifice my ancestors made for me, and I know I wouldn't be able to access the many opportunities I seek if they had not paved the way for my success and freedom.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I find inspiration to create on INSTAGRAM. Being able to connect to other artists and designers has opened up a new world of possibilities for me. The ability to share instant feedback and follow each others growth has been very inspirational for me. I create in my in home studio so I find so much inspiration here at home. When the urge to paint hits me, I am able to just go into my studio and get started. That has been a game changer for me.

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To Learn More About Natalie Visit:



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Ron Adkins is a Director, Producer, and Screenwriter entrenched in the ethos of Black culture and storytelling. He colors outside of the lines of genre and race, yet stays true to his artistic roots. His first break came in 2005 as a videographer for 50 cent. This lead to him directing music videos, capturing some of the most iconic faces within the music industry. Continuing to chase this utopia of creativity and innovation, he began his transition into the Television and Film world by writing and directing his first short  ‘Bodega Series’ based on a family ran bodega in a gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood. It received positive reviews and toured the film festival circuit. While continuing to learn the trade, he worked on the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Mr Chibbs’, a candid, raw look at New York City schoolyard legend and former NBA All-Star Kenny Anderson. As well as working on ‘Day After Valentines’ a Cannes Short Film Selection. In 2018, Ron partnered with award winning filmmaker Joseph Doughrity, in acquiring film and TV rights to ROCK ‘N’ ROLL VICTIMS; THE TRUE STORY OF ‪ A BAND CALLED DEATH, a proposed mini series about a group of three Black brothers from 1970s Detroit playing what was soon to become Punk Rock. Ron also has several other projects in the pipeline and has partnered with top tier producers to bring them to fruition. In addition to his work within the entertainment industry, he donates his time and effort into working with inner city schools in Harlem, New York and South Central, Los Angeles in creating curriculums around digital media, entertainment, and film.  

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

In the context of the United States, I believe that it is necessary to celebrate Black History not only for a month, but on going as the triumphs of people of African descent can be acknowledged. US history is often framed as a story of European immigrants leaving Europe for the Americas in search of a land they can call their own. While this is true, this narrative overlooks the history of other races in the United States such as the African as well as the Indigenous.  Black History Month in my view, is a way of ensuring the experiences of African Americans in the United States are never forgotten, or at the very least, not neglected.


Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

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Finding inspiration is easy for me…God is the alpha artist and designer so inspiration starts with him first. I have always had a healthy diet of art, design, music and photography that inspires me to design and create. I've been inspired by the works of: John Coltrane, Nas, Takashi Murakami, Spike Lee and countless others.

To Learn More About Ron Visit:





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Lamont Leak is a Television Producer and Event Curator from Detroit Mi. Currently he works as a leading Casting Producer for NBC’s The Voice where he's spent the last 4 season's helping to find diverse musical acts.   Apart from the Voice, Leak's career portfolio extends to Casting and Producing Music programing for networks such as MTV, BET, and other platforms alike. In 2016, Leak founded TheLivePlaylist, a indie music concert platform that has grown to provide performance opportunities for more than 100 artists across the country each year.  

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year to me it means highlighting the accomplishments of my peers and young Black Entrepreneurs that are out here making history. Too often we spend all of our time promoting ourselves and personal endeavors, so this year I would like use my platforms to do the opposite, and promote others.

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

This year my inspiration comes from within. Last year, I spent a lot of time chasing trends and producing projects that I believed would have the biggest financial reward. However, that approached left me drained especially as the workload increased. What works for me now is exploring the things that I’m passionate about and creating from that place. Apart from that, traveling is also a big inspiration for my creativity.

To Learn More About Lamont Visit:






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AuthorAngela Belt

sk.ArtSpace, located in Brooklyn NY, is an up and coming art gallery and creative hub for local emerging artists and creatives. Founded by best friends Jarryn Mercer, Melissa Sutherland, and Symone Wong, our mission is to encourage and provide opportunities for local creatives and lovers of art to indulge in the culture and expand on their individual crafts. Through sk.Artspace, we focus on fostering community engagement through eclectic and unique events. Our most popular and well attended event is a series called “Last Saturday’s” where we host a monthly art show on the last Saturday of every month. Through these series we are able to connect the local community with emerging artists and further the narrative that art is obtainable, profitable and important in the Black community. In addition, sk.ArtSpace provides a quality space for artists who wish to expand their network and present their art work in a traditional gallery style.

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Sk.ArtSpace opened on June 16th, 2017 and plans to continue its impact in the local community. Our initiatives include hosting an annual “Future is Female” (FIF) event that will focus on programming related to women in the arts and entrepreneurial industry. As women of color, we want to provide opportunities for our cohorts to network, learn, and support one another in a fun and interactive way! Sk.ArtSpace will also be creating a members only community for NYC creatives who need support in the areas of work/creative space, expanding their network, and access to an inventory of materials and supplies needed to expand their particular craft. Through these initiatives, we will continue to uplift and provide opportunities for local creatives and artists, particular in the Black community. Sk.ArtSpace will continue to work towards being a staple and trailblazer in the Brooklyn art scene.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black History Month for us is celebrating and sharing new artists and creatives with the world and particularly with the Black community through our creative platforms.  It is a time to appreciate and honor our history, culture, and continuous contributions more intensely than we have throughout the year. It’s also a time where we come together and share experiences and support each other. We look forward to contributing to the history of our people that will continue to strengthen and inspire our youth for generations to come.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

A lot of our inspiration comes from communicating and interacting with everyday people in our community.  Artists and other creatives alike possess so much passion and it is truly motivating and inspiring.  A lot of artists in New York City often work several jobs and wear many hats in addition to focusing on their individual crafts.  Their drive and tenacity is very inspiring.  We also gain inspiration from exploring different communities, traveling, and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles. What’s great is that we all have different experiences and come from different backgrounds, so when we combine them, it’s magic.

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To Learn More About sk.ArtSpace Visit:

Photo by @createdbyjarrod

Photo by @createdbyjarrod

Brandon Frame is a visionary leader, social innovator and mentor. He is the Chief Visionary Officer of TheBlackManCan, Inc. an award winning and internationally recognized non-profit and digital media platform focused on celebrating, educating and inspiring boys and men of color. Accomplishments and accolades are no stranger to Brandon Frame, but what makes him extraordinary is the humility and servant-leadership that marks his life. Brandon is the Deputy Director of Social-Emotional Learning at The Urban Assembly, Co-Founder of the award winning twitter chat #hiphoped and the author of Define Yourself, Redefine the World: A Guided Journal for Boys and Men of color and the children's book, My First Tie.

For his service to his community, Brandon has received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award, Change Maker of the Year and was named Next in Class in the field of Education by Black Entertainment Television. Brandon’s work has been featured in the Black Enterprise, Boston Globe, Essence, CBS, and NBC. Brandon pursues excellence with impeccable effort in all that he does. He is a graduate of Morehouse College and resides in Bronx, NY.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Photo by @createdbyjarrod

Photo by @createdbyjarrod

This year I am going to pursue excellence with impeccable effort in all that you do. It means to be so reminded of Martin and Malcolm yet so inspired to sketch your own path. It means that once you make an observation you have an obligation. Black History Month means to me this year that any and all stumbling blocks should be turned into stepping stones just as our ancestors did before us! 

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

One, I want to be up high, I enjoy going to rooftops. When I'm up in high places ideas come to me, and I'm able to think through a process of how to make it happen. Secondly, the beach, I always look to find my way to get there. It is at the beach that the water calms my spirit but also gives me creative energy. it's similar to the water that we are looking at, on the surface everything looks calm and still but under the water the current is moving and life is happening. Thirdly, social media, I'm always watching the content that people post. The comments that people write on videos and photos that go viral, watching my peers succeed at chasing their dreams. 

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These three places and spaces are just some of where I find inspiration. It all drives the creative process for me. I can sit and strategically think about ways to showcase authentic, transparent and positive images and narratives of Black men and boys.

To Learn More About Brandon Visit:







Picture by Nicole Young  @girlphotography   www.girlphotography.info

Picture by Nicole Young

@girlphotography

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I'm Ronni the artist behind Ron Nicole.  I create what I love to call florally inspired fossil reliefs using plaster and concrete. For as long as I can remember, I've always had a connection with nature. Although I grew up in a concrete jungle, nature is very good at peaking through the cracks. Even as a young child, I was drawn to them.  I experimented with so many different mediums searching for a perfect way to expose all of their intricate details.  My floral obsession took me on a journey that would eventually lead me here, doing what I love.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

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Black history month is such an exciting time of the year, where we as a nation actively celebrate our contributions and accomplishments of those that have and will continue to pave the way for us. My only wish is that Black history would be celebrated all year. Not with flashy parades or anything like that (although I wouldn't be against it), but with a required school curriculum that teaches the history of slavery through a factual lens vs the watered down one in the textbooks. A reformed system that frees our Black men and women from modern day slavery. The removal of racist legislation and policies that keep those at the bottom at the bottom. Retribution for the cruelty that America has and continues to place on us. I want to see more of us in front and backed financially, whether it's TV, business, community rebuilding, better schooling, wealth management, etc. I want less gentrification and more community investment. Amazing things happen when support is provided. I mean look at the movie, Black Panther and how much it grossed.  Bigger budgets mean more worldwide recognition and awards. It means more elite sponsorships with our faces on the front that changes the narrative, which trickles down in ways that some might not even imagine. We've come so far, but the work is not done. We are just beginning. With young activists like Rachel Cargle and Shawn King I’m looking forward to our bright future.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Well, that's easy…Nature.  This year I will be taking more trail walks and traveling all over the country working with other florist and those in the industry to discover new flowers to create my art. Last year I worked my butt off, but this year I want to work less so I can explore and experience more. I’m hoping to create personal connections with my community who inspire me every day. 

To Learn More About Ronni Visit:



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I’m Tamara the baker and blogger behind Jem of the South, the place where you “Discover Something Sweet!” I’ve been baking since I was a teen and I started, Jem of the South in 2010 as a way to share my creativity through baking. My adventures in baking have led me down many paths including having my own radio show, hosting dessert events, producing dessert guides and in 2018 I’ll be publishing my first cookbook, “Let’s Have Brunch!”  

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black Girl Magic From The Movie, Black Panther

Black Girl Magic From The Movie, Black Panther

Black History Month this year means that we are still making history daily and that I am a part of that history.  After seeing the movie Black Panther, and the strong female cast members from the film, I am reminded that Black History is happening right now, and I am a part of this movement.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Bake This Year?

My parents are a constant inspiration in my life.

My parents are a constant inspiration in my life.

I find my inspiration from so many places. This year I am taking time to step back and remember why I started Jem of the South.  I’m making sure I am creating things that come from my heart.  So I guess my inspiration is coming more from within myself.

To Learn More About Tamara Visit:

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I’m a freelance photographer born, raised and living in Brooklyn.  Photography has been a part of my life for 10 years plus, but it was only about 2 years ago that I decided to pursue it professionally. Since then I’ve been able to make some amazing connections, learn a lot more about photography (both the technical and business aspects) and take some fun photos.

I took a seminar last year at the Brooklyn Public Library taught by Professor Sarah Lewis, and was totally surprised to learn that Frederick Douglass was the most photographed man in 19th C. America - intentionally so on his part.

I took a seminar last year at the Brooklyn Public Library taught by Professor Sarah Lewis, and was totally surprised to learn that Frederick Douglass was the most photographed man in 19th C. America - intentionally so on his part.

As a Freelance Contributor for Apartment Therapy, I’ve had the opportunity to go all over New York City to meet interesting people, photograph amazing apartments and to see all of the ways in which people create and design their homes. It’s an amazing (and surprising thing) when someone invites me (a complete stranger) into their home and we can just connect over the way they’ve designed their home, which is very often an extension of their personality and character.  

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black History Month is always a time to celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of Black people. And as much as I love that everyone celebrates, promotes and discusses Black History every year during this month, I always try to keep in mind and live into (mostly by reading and learning about it throughout the year) that Black History is American history. Our contributions are/have been intrinsic to the creation of America and to the social, cultural and economic fabric of this country and the world.

 

This year, there has also been a lot of personal reflection as well. 16-yr old Chinasa wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice and was passionate about learning about the Civil Rights Movement and I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring some of her into what I’m doing now, but, to be honest, I’m still working on it.

This month, I’ve also realized how much I still have to learn. I recently watched a Facebook Live organized by Diversify Photo, The Photo Brigade and Adorama, which featured two Black women photojournalists, Michelle Agins and Akili Ramsess. Their stories definitely inspired me, but they also highlighted that as much as I think I know about Black History that there is always something left to learn. So this year, I want to dedicate time to learning more about Black women (and men - but I’m starting with the women first) photographers, past & present. 

My younger sister (on the right). We definitely have some great discussions around social injustice and she currently works to help immigrants throughout NYC. She’s also helps me with my photography by being a model. I did want to include a recent photo of the rest of my family, but we don’t really have any, so we’ll just say that my parents are represented here through us.

My younger sister (on the right). We definitely have some great discussions around social injustice and she currently works to help immigrants throughout NYC. She’s also helps me with my photography by being a model. I did want to include a recent photo of the rest of my family, but we don’t really have any, so we’ll just say that my parents are represented here through us.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

This year, I’ve been finding inspiration from seeing other creatives follow their passion, from seeing the possibilities that they imagined and then, brought to life. These people keep me motivated when I’m feeling overwhelmed about all of the things that I don’t know about being a photographer.

Finding inspiration has been a challenge for me of late. So, I’ve recently decided to pick up my Vivatar 3800N (my first camera, bought for me by mom when I first started showing interest in photography) and get back into B&W film photography.

Dance will also be a source of inspiration and focus for my photography this year. I’ve always felt such big emotion and a fascination with the capabilities of the body when watching a dance performance, so this year, I want to dedicate any extra time that I have to exploring dance photography.

To Learn More About Chinasa Visit:

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AuthorAngela Belt
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I am a British born Zimbabwean who lived in Zimbabwe till the age of 14. Our family moved to the UK at that point, and I lived there till 2017; when I moved with my family to the USA following my husband’s job relocation. I worked in several fashion head offices till 2015 when I decided to stay at home and look after our 2 children. I love writing and making people laugh. I am obsessed with clothes (especially on sale), and spend too much time pinning home style looks (free therapy). Thankfully it’s not all in vain as I am working on a business idea based around fashion and home; which I hope to realise in the next 2 years when I get my life (and hopefully functioning memory) back.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

In my senior year at school we were four Black girls, three grew up in African countries and one grew up in the UK. One day during one of our political discussions, our UK “comrade” said to us, “You’ll never appreciate what it is to grow up in an environment where Black professionals are the norm. where your relatives are doctors and CEOs and your president is Black. You grew up seeing Black success as the norm, you believe you can be anything.”

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That day my perception shifted, and being a Black parent in the diaspora I understand more the need for ALL children to be surrounded by Black success. The louder our excellence is, the lower the volume of those perpetuating negative stereotypes. Every race has good and bad, but we are burdened with shining a spotlight on our good like it’s an anomaly. I am proud to be here, proud to be in a couple that can be an example to a child looking for a role model, and part of those changing the narrative on Black families. The Black Panther movie (which I haven’t watched yet) is another layer added in our kids world: superheroes they can actually relate to.
The cruel history of slavery and its effects right up to our generation (Black incarceration? Racial profiling? Police brutality?) should never be swept under the carpet. Would anyone ask Jews to get over the Holocaust? It was evil. It happened. It’s happening.  The more images of Black success our kids see, the more we show them that “still we rise”.  The more images of Black excellence the new generation in other races see, the more it is normalized. And I am privileged to be here for it.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

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My name, Tanaka, means “we are now complete”. It was what my parents spoke over me when I was born and I live my life from the perspective that people’s lives should be bettered for having met me. It’s what they say every time they say my name!
 As a result, a lot of my inspiration for writing (when it’s not about my family’s life) comes from the people I meet everyday, the conversations we have and the challenges they face. I am always seeking to be a solution provider in the areas I am gifted. I love seeking out ideas that make living stylishly easier for mums and then write about it. I currently have a couple of mums with similar body types who are frustrated at the lack of stylish clothing for their body type. This has led me on a journey which I will then write about on the blog and hopefully help a lot of other women in the same position.

To Learn More About Tanaka Visit:

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Nicole White is the president and principal designer of Nicole White Designs Interiors, a full service design firm based in South Florida. Nicole has been voted among the Top 25 Interior Design Firms by the South Florida Luxury Guide.  She has been featured in Domino Magazine among the 47 inspiring designers of color to follow, twice noted as an emerging designer to watch by the Black Interior Designers Network, and this year became the first black interior designer to have a featured vignette at the Design on a Dime Miami Housing Works AIDS charity event. Her work has been published in various national, local print and digital magazines including Better Homes and Garden, Ocean Drive, HGTV Online and the Huffington Post. Nicole who shares the behind the scenes details of her designs on her blog LiveLaughDecorate is also a brand ambassador and influencer with noted brands including The Home Depot, Purple Drywall and City Furniture.

Nicole and her team are dedicated to transforming the spaces and lives of our clients' homes and businesses. Known for her renovation prowess, she cultivates intimate and long-standing relationships with clients as they design for the varying stages of their lives, and often spend years working on various projects throughout her clients homes, businesses and vacation homes. A Jamaican native, Nicole is deeply inspired by the music and the bold colors and textures of the Caribbean, and constantly fuses those elements throughout her designs. When not dreaming up new design plans, she enjoys traveling the world, sipping copious amounts of wine and sampling great food at some of South Florida's best eateries. Her favorite moments involve reading and playtime with her 6 year-old son Xavier, a budding artist and storyteller who already has the travel bug.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

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 Black history month has had special meaning this year as we’ve seen a tidal wave of resistance to political, sexist and criminal injustice in an era when we thought we’d moved beyond all this. We've seen women of all races finally have their stories of sexual harassment believed! How incredible has that been to see some of the most powerful men toppled because of those voices and to think it was part of a movement started quietly ten years ago by Tarana Burke, a black woman.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

 When I moved to the US in 1992, I was an immigrant lost in the hustle and struggle of NY and really just utterly bereft about my decision to move to the United States. I was broke and struggling to pay for college and Maya’s, Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now, helped steady my very rocky ship. I read that collection of essays cover to cover every day as a reminder to stay the course. That it was okay to start over again and again if you had to, until you found your way. She was a fierce woman who just lived her life. It’s a treasure of a book and one I still keep on my nightstand, as a reminder of how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go.

 

 

To Learn More About Nicole Visit:

Artist. Innovator. Educator. Grammy nominated artist entrenched in the ethos of hip hop culture yet colors outside of the lines of genre and tradition. Co-Curator of Beats&Beans: a discussion on creativity and re-imagining creative spaces, Kokayi continues to chase the origins of creativity and innovation. A recipient of the DCCAH Artist Fellowship, Sister Cites Grant and Artist Grant and his music can be found in MTV's Rebel Music Series, Kevin Hart's Laugh at my Pain, A'Larrache (Canal +) and many others. He is currently faculty at the School of Improvisational Music in NY, guest Collaborator with international arts program OneBeat and works as a music emissary throughout the world.

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"My work is an amalgamation of my life experiences as filtered through the lens of DC, go-go and the music of the African diaspora overall."

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year black history month to me is less about the celebration of black history as it has been celebrated prior, but more about the heralding of all that we as a people have contributed and continue to contribute. As of late the diaspora has begun to embrace itself as more than just the footrest of the world but more as the creators of our own presents and futures. Afro futurism is embraced, afro now-ism is what we are seeing from black Presidents to Black Panther.

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I was working in Mauritania with producers from Mali, Morocco, Senegal and more. The kids in the back were in awe about the software that was being used to record and produce music.   

I was working in Mauritania with producers from Mali, Morocco, Senegal and more. The kids in the back were in awe about the software that was being used to record and produce music.

 

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I find inspiration in different environments; from coffee shops, galleries or anywhere there is life moving about.  My kids inspire me and keep me connected to the youth.

To Learn More About Kokayi Visit:

Cedar & Cotton is a new & vintage home furnishings company based in Southwest Baltimore City and Baltimore Magazine’s 2017 Editors Pick for Best Furniture Showroom.  The duo expertly curates, refurbishes, and handcrafts an eclectic mix of furniture, accessories & lighting.  Their signature style mixes traditional with the unexpected, and often incorporates themes from nature, African prints, and metallic accents.

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Nasira and Raina are both originally from Baltimore & have been friends for over a decade, bonding over their shared love of architecture, design, and grilled meats!

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Baltimore, Circa 1950.  Photo by the late I. Henry Phillips, Sr., a pioneering photojournalist for the Baltimore-based Afro-American newspaper.

Baltimore, Circa 1950.  Photo by the late I. Henry Phillips, Sr., a pioneering photojournalist for the Baltimore-based Afro-American newspaper.

Black History Month this year is a time to actively celebrate our culture and contributions even more intently than we do everyday.  In our lives and design, we work to always pay homage to Black designers who have come before us.  We place emphasis on actively shining light on underrepresented Black designers and furniture makers, locally, nationally and internationally.  This black history month (and always) we’re honoring black women business owners, both current and those who paved the way.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Design This Year?

Portrait of Mursi Girl, Omo Valley, Ethiopia by Peter Adams    This oversized print hangs in the entryway of our storefront. Each time we enter we are inspired by the wisdom and resilience in her eyes.

Portrait of Mursi Girl, Omo Valley, Ethiopia by Peter Adams

This oversized print hangs in the entryway of our storefront. Each time we enter we are inspired by the wisdom and resilience in her eyes.

We’re constantly inspired by the people of Baltimore City.  The energy of the city is authentic, electric and energizing.  There is a renaissance of Black creatives owning businesses, creative hubs and safe spaces and we’re honored to be part of this group.  The collaborative, but often unspoken, mission of community growth pushes us to continue to create.

 

We are also inspired by personal items and ephemera we find in vintage pieces we restore.  Finding negatives for vintage wedding photos in a desk or a pair of classic 50’s cat-eye glasses in a sofa reminds us that we’re continuing someone’s personal and family story each time we breathe new life into vintage furniture.

To Learn More About Nasira & Raina Visit:

 

 

Born in Port-au-Prince Haiti, Nathalie migrated to America at just six months of age. Growing up, she felt a great void and a lack in identity spanning from her lack of Haitian history.  Her very own missed culture is what inevitably birthed the Mod Punch concept of  culture and design.

Nathalie Armand-Bradley is a Atlanta-based interior designer and rendering expert specializing in modern-eclectic spaces. With a distinctive emphasis on culture, ModPunch designs seeks to delve deep into the core of every client. The belief is that beauty and function should be tangible to all, ModPunch seeks to tailor each room with the individual history and culture in mind.

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Nathalie business started when she was faced with the great challenge of caring for her 24 week preemie and Autistic son Sebastian and she had to make a decision about whether or not to return to corporate America.  Nathalie begin to create one room specials to friends that inquired about there expertise. As word of mouth began to spread, Nathalie began to provide interior design services to out of town clientele virtually.  She then began working as an e-design consultant and slowly transitioned on to complex and multi-room designs. Nathalie and her team now serve residential and commercial clients  within the Atlanta area and throughout the United States.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson is an African-American mathematician who made contributions to the United States' aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA.

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson is an African-American mathematician who made contributions to the United States' aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA.

 I think that there is a great need more then ever before to celebrate Black history 365 days a year. There is a unwavering resistance in the air which seeks to strip down what it means to be unapologetically Black. We see in the white house, in our judicial system, in our housing market and in so many different aspects of life. Often times its blatant, other times its a hidden agenda. And although we have come such a long way, there is still so much to be done. I think a well learned, and well read community of people does a far greater good then bad. We should stand firm on the backs of our ancestors and those who have paved the way by learning about their trials and by celebrating their triumphs. Our very own lives should be the outward reflection of our appreciation

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Design This Year?

Nature with all of its rawness, depth and color is the ultimate form of inspiration. I find that some of the greatest color combos and textures are found right outside our door step. I am currently obsessed with green. It is such an awesome accessory color.

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To Learn More About Nathalie Visit:

Deena Campbell Sengstacke is a New York-based beauty and lifestyle writer whose work is published in Allure, The New York Times, Essence and a host of others. She is currently the founder of Beauty and the Boys where she writes about life with her husband and toddler, and freelance copywriter.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

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Black History Month is a time to love and accept ourselves, especially when the world doesn’t always honor us. It’s a time to celebrate our intellect, strength, culture and everything that makes us magical. But for me, Black History Month should extend well beyond the month of February. We can celebrate all year by supporting Black-owned business, uplifting each other and being undeniably strong.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Design This Year?

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A while back I came across a quote that always stuck with me: “Motivation is a push, Inspiration is a pull.” It’s true—things that inspire you naturally pull you into it. For me, inspiration comes from everywhere. It’s all around me. Music heard in random coffee shops  (loving SZA, and Daniel Caesar BTW), street style, paintings, and obviously my family.

To Learn More About Deena Visit: