Thursday, March 31, 2011

Building Hope ... the Joys of Education

While in Austin I had the honor to screen a documentary called "Building Hope" about a couple of non-profiters that in their efforts to promote lacking education in the 4 corners of the world were touched by the small community of Mahiga, Kenya.

The couple, the Pipkins (Turk and Christy), based in Austin, run a non profit called The Nobelity Project. Their goal, to share, through film, the lives and education of children around the globe. A friend of mine from both high school and college has been working with the couple for a few months, and actually worked on the documentary, so when I sat down in the theatre I just figured it would be a seemingly self-induced load of "look what we did for these African kids". Not. the. case.

It is beautiful what this couple have created for the students at Mahiga Hope School. And the film pieced together not only the troubles that the students faced but also how hard The Nobelity Project had to work in order to get people to realize that schools aren't easily to come by commodities as they are in the States. Being from Detroit, where to close a few hundred schools only takes a press release and few boards of wood, I never really paid attention to the work involved in actually building a school. I usually drive down a street and I'm blown away by just how many schools lay vacant amongst the neighborhoods...just think, if the students at Mahiga Hope would see that, their hearts would explode.

Check out the trailer...

After the film I had the opportunity to talk with Christy Pipkin (left), who during the entire ordeal of building a school in Kenya, traveling across the ocean, raising her own children, and running a non-profit had her own battles ... but let's stay on task. I wanted so badly to interview her. To ask her if she was met with any adversity from potential sponsors, from naysayers, from folks that would labor her a "Saint w/ hopes of an Oscar", but instead all I could share was complete and utter gratitude. I am so thankful for this project. So thankful for their drive. So happy that it was completely, and I look forward to one day being able to devote myself to something as groundbreaking. We shared tears (hince the red eyes) amongst the viewers and Aderemi (my friend) laughed at our poor little souls...but hey, so what.

Also, if you would like to donate to the Mahiga Hope School or to get more information about a screening near you, please visit the Nobelity Project on Facebook.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The movement has begun... and its spreading.
Many have been trying to answer the question, Is blogging a competition?

And the answer is No, never. How could it be? This question infers that there is a good and bad type of blogger, but the actual truth is that the blogging media is only in competition with the widespread media, those stories that when you turn on the television, radio or log on are all from ...well, the associated press, which I have no qualm with, but I kinda dislike repetition, the same story every 15 minutes annoys me to no end. I mean, frank.

Bloggers are a community, mutually beneficial, that found there was news and information the public needed but weren't getting. They get inspiration from other blogs, advertisements, their everyday lives, personal business, etc., and they're driven by the need to share, teach and receive feedback. Which is why I felt compelled to blog about this movement.

After a few weeks of reading and commenting on some of my favorite blogs I logged onto LinkedIn and found this conversation on the Black Enterprise Network...its an actual network of business owners, not a game of "who can get the most".

The FAN PAGE EXCHANGE is a promotional tool, kinda like #teamfollowback for facebook, much like the Black Blogger Network, helping business owners cross reference each other, build with each other and ofcourse, exchange support. I urge all of you to read about the businesses that are self promoting themselves, much like blogs via their Facebook pages...so read up and by all means, support your local and national small business.

Social media is really on fire right on. I am participating in several Linkedin Fan Page Exchanges, and as a result, there are several testimonies of where business professionals now have over 600 fans in a short period of time. If you would like to increase your fans, please participate in this exchange. Supporting each other through social media is what it is about today. Thanks for participating.

Here's the simple instructions:

1) Post Your Fan Page Url for Other Members to Become a Fan
2) Anyone that Replies that they have become a fan, then you become a fan of their page.
3) Become a fan of everyone that is listed, and post a reply to each person that you have become a fan of.
4) Log in everyday to add more fans

oooh...and check out my about.me/chrisbethany page ... it leads you to all of my social networking sites.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wu-Tang Clan and More Play Village Voice Media and Frank 151's SXSW Party - Los Angeles - Slideshows

Black in the City made LAWeekly ... how dope is that!? The homie Remi and I walked at full speed to catch up with Wu-Tang, seriously we almost ran across Austin to get to this concert ... and it was sooo fly, Erykah Badu was the dj, Ghostface was murdering the stage and the Wu ... well... it was the WU!

Peep the Link...you can find me at image 47...looking a little tired, but still Black...beautiful, and in the City.

Wu-Tang Clan and More Play Village Voice Media and Frank 151's SXSW Party - Los Angeles - Slideshows

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nothing's Better Than Cotton ... everyone thinks so

So I have been consumed with sourcing this week, I know ... it doesn't stop right. I have been trying to find a few of the finest t-shirts in the game for a friends new line. In and out of dressing rooms, feeling tanks, stretching shirts, peeking at labels, I am completely hands on with this task.

I mean, have you looked at how the t-shirt business has grown over the past 10 years. People are astounded with Twitter and Facebook being so popular, but a t-shirt ... when do you think a t-shirt will ever become un-popular...tell the truth!? Last week I think I collected about 20 free shirts on my trip to Austin...all of which with funny remarks and slogans. And although I am not sitting here thinking, I can't wait to rock this Rackspace.com tee with my Bebe or Juicy sweatsuit, but I do know that they make a few rounds with me either on the treadmill, in my subdivision, or even at the gym ... if I ever get around going ... but that's another update.

Any who, all these t-shirts have me running circles around San Antonio, and its surprising the amount of Rayon, Polyester and just all kinds of horrible fibers that won't turn out well after the first wash. Which led me to one question ... where's the cotton?

Share with me your favorite cotton experience ... well here are mine, the Cotton commercials ... and for the record, I want every dress, sweater, shoe...within reason, in all of these commercials.

Jasmine Sullivan, the epitome of soul in a cotton commercial

Leona Lewis, I like the wallpaper too

Colbie Caillat

Miranda Lambert ... a lil' country flava

Zooey Deschanel

Whew ... was that a fresh little piece of fashion purity or what?

Makes me feel like a little giveaway ... for my XLs, I have a few KIK/Play Nice tees as well as a couple other free tshirts I got at SXSW this year, if you want one, share your favorite t-shirt pic/tagline in the replies and I'll pick a pic/tagline and ship you out a freebie ... how's that? Hurry, giveaway ends on Friday.

Black to my search ... ttyl

Carrob's Deli ....Austin Soul, with a Twist


Lovely buffalo wing greatness.
Without the hype.
Sitting in a wax paper basket, topped with 2 pieces of hearty wheat bread, just like I ordered.

Carrob's wings are two words ... Just. Awesome.

I think this may be the only black-owned restaurant in Austin (I mean, I did a Yelp search, not much came up). The white boy ahead of me, just may be sure of it... his order consists of a proud helping of mac n'cheese, chicken fried steak, corn, green beans and texas toast. Time. of. his. life.

I had a chance to meet with Carol and Robert, married more than 10 years, owners of CARROB'S cafe, they described their establishment as new-Soul food, because they served espresso, had outdoor seating, and most of their patrons were young liberal students, so they had a vegetarian menu.
Carrob's is located at 605 Sabbine St., off 6th in downtown Austin.


I didn't really try much on the menu, there wasn't time, I had to rush over to a "backyard" concert featuring one of my "now" favorite crooners, Gary Clark Jr.

The venue was almost random. Ana and I were kinda short in the crowd, but as we powered our way through we, like most began to fall head over heals in love for the back end, ol' skool, sittin on yo' porch, where's my harmonica, sang yo' song, Gary Clark Jr.

He is tall.
Singing about his baby, most likely his two tone acoustic guitar, or maybe the gold crusted diamond covered piece around his neck, but deep down I know that his baby is something we ain't thought of, something of blues and dreams ... cuz he's a modern crooner, and that kind of love, the kind he's singing of is that only the night can hold.

But the boy is seriously back woods. His melodic guitar takes over mid-song to create an experience that takes over not only your hips ... but everyone elses. We entrancingly sway. He gives the crowd a pearly smile, acknowledging his effect on us and strums on. Burning the soles of our feet into the broken alley, grinding the beat or picturing the most hurtful love in our minds, instantly this song is all of our "jam".

Introducing to you ... if you ain't (yup, AIN'T) already heard ... Gary Clark Jr.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

South by Southwest Music Conference

So, if you follow me on twitter you probably recognize all of the #sxsw hashtags, but didn't really know what the abbreviation stood for ... well, South by Southwest is one of the largest conferences centered on Technology, Music and Film in the country. Its hosted every year in Austin, TX and this year I decided to make my out there.

Now being
from Detroit, I have been to my share of techno fests and winter-blasts ... but nothing could have prepared me for this. There had to be an extra 100,000 people in the small city, that reminded me a lot of Ann Arbor (home of my alma mater ...Go Blue), only with cactus. The houses, the hippie cultural, bicyclists and pedestrians took me back to a collegiate mindset ... I was ready to hit the streets, find some cool venues and experience the music.

The main way to find out what hot and whats the best thing to do at SXSW, is to literally talk to strangers ... something I do best. I had a great chat with this group of Battle Ready Black Chicks...very informative group of divas ...

I struck up a conversation with some awesome people this past weekend and these ladies gave me the one up on the good Bohemian concerts and who Youtube sensation DeStorm is ...

Thats the thing about being Black in the City, I can talk to just about anyone ... and get the information that I am looking for and then more.

It's all about being connected. Mostly because I am more about making a connection.

From left to right I saw people meeting, laughing and basically enjoying each other. There had to have been 100 bars on 6th Street's two-mile stretch, and every where we went, there was a welcoming atmosphere, great music, cheap drinks and good people ... once you get passed the bouncers.
On the second day...I strolled up on a few conversations with some very chill people ... including one of my (and my lil bro's)
favorite rappers, Black Milk. Look for that conversation tomorrow.

And I can't leave without telling you about the awesome food in Austin, everything wasn't tacos and free beer... I found one of the largest burgers in the city, at a fast food pace, for about $8, add a Miller High Life Tall Boy (what other beverage helps wash down a 3/4 lb. cheeser) and I had a $10 blissful lunch, with free wifi.

Now, as a dinner recommendation, I have to go Black on yall...since I been in Texas I have been trying to find a suita
ble soul food restaurant ... I mean, we ARE still in the south, right?
I came up on a small cafe called Carrob's ...and when I looked at the menu I noticed two very similar heart warming meal ingredients, chicken fried steak and mac n' cheese. I had done it, I had hit a quick lick...a soul food restaurant, right off 6th street, in the heart of Austin, this restaurant was obviously a student favorite, complete with outside seating and 15 minute wait for food. It's owners, Carol and Robert ...get it CARol and ROBert --> CARROB'S, were active, with just as much sweat on them as their barista, bus boy, and cashier combined. The couple describe their cafe more like neo-soul food restaurant, because of the vegetarian options.

Oh..and you know I had some fun...check me out ...#
More updates forethecoming ... and I am sharing some new opportunities with you all ... thanks to all of my new readers and ...TTYL!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Its Good to be Black In The City!

This morning I woke to a great surprise (kinda, I had a little foreshadowing) ... but in my efforts to promote the Black In The City blog around the country, I am being featured as the Blog of The Day via BlackBloggerNetwork.com !!!

Thanks to my readers, the academy ... haha, just joking.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Night @ The Museum: Everybody Likes Chocolate

Like you all may be realizing, its a huge transition growing into a
new city. When I first got to San Antonio, I just didn't know where to start, thankfully I had my family here to point me in some of the right directions.

Most recently Chloe invited me to go to The Witte (pronounced witty) Museum in Downtown San Antonio called Decadent Deserts, where you have the opportunity to try the newest most delicious sweet treats the city has to offer.

I talk to strangers, and my fam knows it, I mean, I get it from them, which is a good quality to have when you're a fresh face in the place. Don't forget to crack a smile and meet some new folks next time you are out...

All in all, we had a great evening, met some fab folks...got some ideas for future catered events ... and my sugar high is just now residing... TTYL

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Center Stage San Antonio ... date w/ my new city

So...today I went out ... all by myself ... mostly because no one likes my driving. But you know what ... these people down here dart in and out of traffic just like me...I fit right in.

First stop...getting there...
Ofcouse I had to stop at La Galleria ... I don't think that's the name, but it had a Macy's and a GAP ... perfect combination of mainstream fashion, cuz this sista ain't wearing no 35-gallon cowboy hats.

That was it ... I had a good time. Made it through traffic, through the city, met some sweet people, got a chance to soak up the sites ... next stop, FIESTA TEXAS!! Rollercoasters!!!