Archive | March, 2012

History of Motown Music

28 Mar

Motown Records was a Black-owned business ran by Former Boxer/song writer Barry Gordy and song writer/singer Smokey Robinson. Motown Records was established Jan. 12, 1959 in the heart of Detroit, during the turning point of the Civil Rights movement. Motown was the pride of Blacks. Nevertheless, all races adored the “Motown sound” joyous, sad, romantic tune that told simple yet relatable stories. From the harmonies of The Temptations, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Gladys’s Knight and the Pips to the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. These artist and a host of others sung their hearts out and their song were constantly on the hit list. Which kept Motown Records alive and thriving.

First we discussed the environment surrounding the company. Motown Records was located in an urban community. At that point in time The African American Community were all on one accord. They were on a journey to make the world a better place for all nationalities, especially for Blacks. During that time period Blacks supported Blacks. Black owned/ Black ran businesses were on a raise nationwide but only in urban communities. However, a lot of Black own businesses were being burnt down due to racism. But for the love of Motown no one ever tried to destroy it in fact the jazz and soul brought Blacks and Whites together. Motown Business strategy was to make catchy songs that are easy to remember so the song can become popular and always make the top five on the hit chart. Next, Motown was going great until the artist began to tamper with drugs and alcoholism and groups such as the Temptations had to split. Meanwhile other artist like Diana Ross started her acting career as well as her soloist career.  Lastly, in1967 when the Detroit Riot broke out and Mr. Gordy decided to move Motown to Los Angeles and the business was not making as money as it was before so he sold Motown to MCA, which turned into Polygram, which was bought by Universal. Instead of selling Motown Mr. Gordy should’ve moved Motown to Chicago or Atlanta because Blacks supported Blacks, they purchased the records where as the Whites stole songs and Whites bought the remakes of the originally Black songs.

Written by: Alexis Small


“Whats Happening in the World Today?”

21 Mar

An Australian Guy by the name of Kevin Clark expressed his yearn for a Meximelt from Taco Bell to a dear friend. Unfortunately, Taco Bells are not in his neck of the woods. Therefore his friend sent him a Meximelt via mail and two weeks later the Meximelt showed up at his doorstep without being refrigerated. The delicious sensation was not as tasty as he remembered and he was disappointed with a upset stomach. This article is important because fast food restaurants show be nation wide. For example people from the west coast that migrates to the east coast are going to miss In-and-Out Burger’s, El Pollo Loco, Ramona’s, Togo’s, Robeks and Wienerschnitzed. As well as someone from the East moving to the west they would yearn for White Castle, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Biscuitville, and Bojangle’s. The main point of the article was to bring to light the need of spreading fast food restaurants worldwide. American’s are used to having what they want, how they want it, when they want it. So instead of having friends all over the United States mailing fast food to satisfy taste bugs it will be more convenient to expand the fast food chain. The author Emily Smith was very informative throughout the article. However she should have include data of the residents from coast to coast, especially visiting a diverse college campus because a lot of students long for fast food from their hometowns.


By: Alexis Small

“Whats Happening in the World Today?”

21 Mar

January 20, 2010 an earthquake hit Haiti and the country that killed 300,000 people and is still in ruins. Haitian young ladies are trading sex for food and other necessities. Young ladies are constantly become pregnant, having babies in unsanitary places without prenatal care. Sex is their only way to escape hell on earth. This news is important because Haitians are in need of help. Tracey Wilkinson, the author clearly explains the tragic madness in Haiti; the story takes on an emotional toll on the audience. Although, 118.4 million dollars have been disbursed, that large amount is only doing a dollar worth of help because the country is suffering severely from poverty. Fourteen and fifth teen year olds are being raped left and right, food and jobs are extremely hard to come across as violence is easily available to find. The living conditions are disturbing more than half a million families are living in tents. No education is being taught. The government has not stepped in to assess the population and lead them to living productive lives again. According Tracey Wilkinson to the vulnerabilities of this already vulnerable group. Wilkinson should have included the rate of pregnancy, diseases and death. Other then that the article was well written, leaves readers devastated and questionable. Usually Americans or different organizations step in and help out disasters however the author did not include this information. There are various questions regarding this article such as why is the country still down? Did the government try to reach out to different nations for assistance? Is there any type of protection or birth control dealing with sexual intercourse? When will the government be active in the country again? Where are the dead bodies being deposed? How long did the disaster last ?

By: Alexis Small

“What’s Happening In The World Today?”

21 Mar

The five-dollar college plan is a nonprofit youth outreach program by native Watts, California’s graceful “Sweet Alice” was designed to keep minorities off the streets of Los Angeles. She persuades the youth with five dollars, helps them create a savings account at both Kinecta Credit Union and Nix financial; she also explains the importance of both saving and budgeting. ‘Sweet Alice’ is so passionate about the organization because her mentor introduce here to saving and budgeting as well, which helped her pay for Beauty school as a young adult. She began the youth outreach program three years ago, she had forty students to join and now they’re juniors in college. Last Saturday, Sweet Alice host a successful “Back- to-school community event “ where ninety-six join the five dollar program. The article also mentioned a middle school student named Danielle Sandoval, she saved seven hundred dollars including her original five dollars. Reading this article filled me with excitement not only because the story took place in my neck of the woods but also because the community is crying out for leaders to transfer negative energy into positive. It seems like Watts, South Central and Compton only receives unfavorable recognition like crime rates. The media only glamorizes the negativity that occur. I applaud Sweet Alice for stepping up to the plate.


By:Alexis Small

Entrepreneurial Tips

21 Mar



  • Stay hungry
  • Resourcefulness
  • Creative thinking / Imagination
  • Determination
  • Self discipline
  • Confidence
  • Set goals
  • Take responsibility
  • Independence
  • Desire

By: Alexis Small

Honoring Zora Neale Hurston for Women’s History Month!!!

21 Mar


“This is my world and I shall be in it surrounded by it, if it’s the last thing I do on God’s green dirt ball!” – Zora Neale Hurston.

On the 7th day of May in 1891 John Hurston and Lucy Ann Hurston met their daughter, Zora Neale Hurston who became a legend, anthropologist, folklorist and multi-award winning author during the amazing years of the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston comes from a strong educated family. Her father was a pastor and her mother was a schoolteacher. They lived in Eatonville, Florida a small black owned/black run community. Growing up in an all black environment strengthenend her and gave her a boost of confidence. Her love for reading was extraordinary. Her favorite book was Hercules. Books took her to a new world.

In 1904 Zora turned thirteen and her mother passed away. Zora was hurt and read to escape her pain. Soon after the death of her mother Zora was sent to a boarding school in Jackson, Florida. She often referred to her “key to success” as her “oyster knife” to open doors to places, people, and education. Next she attended Columbia-University where she trained to become an Anthropologist.

In her lifetime she published four novels, two nonfiction books, dozens of newspaper articles and magazine stories. She also directed and wrote plays. She traveled to Honduras to study voodoo and New Orleans to study hoodoo. She was the most respected female during the Harlem Renaissance. She was a very controversial type of person. As a teen Zora would go to the Mayor of Eatonville, Joe Clark’s storefront porch to listen to adults talk, share stories and tall tales over a game of chess and an ice-cold soda pop. The stories were passed down from generation to generation. And this is how she created most of her stories and characters. Outside of writing books she had odd jobs cooking and cleaning.

In time she was granted a new job as a wardrobe assistant with Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Troupe. She traveled across the country for a year and a half with the cast. As she grew gracefully older, others often questioned her about marriage. However marriage wasn’t her main focus. She wanted to travel, write and meet new people. That was her plan and that is exactly what she did.

By 1919 Zora was accepted to Howard University where she became a woman of Zeta Phi Beta. She then moved to New York,  where she wrote “Drenched in the Light” for The Opportunity Magazine Contest and won! In 1920 Zora attended Barnard College with the help of Annie Minor who helped Hurston finance her education. Hurston was the first black student to attend Barnard.

Zora drove a black Chevy, which she called “Sassy Suzy” through the backwoods of the segregated south, which was extremely dangerous during those years. She was dedicated to her work and job as a journalist and figured if her research was worth dying for. Luckily she had safe travels and stumbled upon her first love and husband, Herbert Sheen May 1927. He was a doctor in Chicago. She also met an elderly white woman soon to be referred as “Godmother”, Charlotte Osgood Mason. She was a wealthy New Yorker. Godmother assisted Zora with getting her writing licenses however all of Zora’s written work would be copy written in her Godmother’s name. Zora also had the chance to film the last man who came from Africa. His African name was Kazool when he arrived in America he changed his name to Cudjoe Lewis. The ship he traveled on was called “Clotilde”.

But Zora wanted more for her writing experience. So she strikes again this time she held a lying contest and included liar’s stories in her book. This concept made her stories even more dramatic and interesting. She carried the lies home and poured them out on paper for hours and hours. Her next move was to visit New Orleans and tamper with Hoodoo. Her Hoodoo Doctor Luke Turner placed rattlesnake skin on her back as she laid on her empty stomach. She was asked to stay in a room for three days with the snakeskin touching her navel she than began to hallucinate.

Zora and Langston Hughes wrote a comical play together in Alabama called “Mule Bone”. Zora ran out of money and could not pay rent. Her landlord kicked her out and she went to live with her Uncle Isaiah. Then a novel she had been writing for three years was accepted and published and she was awarded two hundred dollars. The name of the novel was “Jonah’s God Vine” a story about a father and daughter relationship.

Zora then returned to New York to receive a Rosewald Fellowship to become a graduate student in Anthropology at Columbia. She also came across a new love, graduate student Precival Punter, in 1935. Punter wanted her hand in marriage but she declined. She wanted to write and travel. She left him and ventured off to Jamaica in April 1936. She was the first female to go hunting for wild boar with the Maroons. Maroons are descendents of slaves who’d escaped to the mountains of Jamaica.

A few days later she traveled to Haiti to learn voodoo where she wrote one of my favorite books and movie; powerful love story, “Their Eyes were Watching God”, a subliminal story about herself and Punter. After finishing “Their Eyes were Watching God” in seven weeks she dug deeper into voodoo and became ill for two weeks and was on bed rest. A year later she returned to America.

In1941 she began working at Paramount Pictures in California making one hundred dollars a week. As you can see she did not like being consistent so she soon moved back to Florida, Daytona to be exact. She bought herself a boat house “Wanabo”. She then wrote her Autobiography “Dust Tracks on the Road” and took a risk to write a book about white people called “Seraph on the Swanee”. When she returned back to New York she was charged with child molestation, and grew very depressed. Her landlady accused her of molesting her son and two other neighborhood boys. The media destroyed her image and self-esteem she considered committing suicide. Later, the boys admitted to lying and her case was dropped. She moved to Miami and began teaching.

At age sixty-eight she wrote “A Life of Herod the Great”. Once Zora’s health began to fail from heart disease and high blood pressure she resigned as a teacher. One of her students Hassie, often visited her. Hassie would come by to cook and clean for Zora and Zora would share some of her life experiences and give Hassie all her unpublished work along with three autographed books. She never stopped writing instead she became pen pals with her first husband. January 28th, 1960 Zora had a stroke and was rushed to Fort Pierce Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Zora Neale Hurston was a legend. She was a compromised artist. She valued the arts of mankind. She was a leader, a voice, and a free spirited person but most importantly she was a trailblazer. She is my hero!


Written By- Alexis Small

College bound Entrepreneurs Takes The Lead

19 Mar

College bound Entrepreneurs Takes The Lead

California native nineteen-year-old Montiera Straughter, sophomore Business major at Hampton University is building an empire. She has designed her own clothing company entitled “College Girls”. College Girls has made a trademark on the gorgeous campus of Hampton from T-Shirts, Sweat Shirts and Tote bags. Straughter plans on a expanding her clothing line into school supplies such as Pens and Pencils. “This is just a glitz and glam preshow of what my glamorous business I will run after I receive my masters degree. This is just practice and practice makes perfect!” she explains. College Girls can be purchased via











Compton, California’s nineteen-year-old Demontae Thompson, a bright student at Cal State University of Northridge and author of Raised From Scratch was a foster child along with his brother Demontray Thompson. Demontae Thompson is an advocate for equality and change. One day Demontae pondered his life stories and realized he has a story to tell. As he brushed up his entrepreneurship skills he relived his childhood through his words of Raised From Scratch, an Autobiography. “I have a passion for inspiring youth and motivating everyone I meet. My goals are to become a motivational speaker and an Executive Director of a non-profit organization. Raised From Scratch can be purchased on for 10$.Image

Victoria Bolden is a amazing Bennett Belle from Cleveland, Ohio. Outside of being a 3.7 GPA student and serving as Miss NAACP at Bennett College for Woman, she is also an upcoming vibrant entrepreneur. She has a knack for crocheting in which she inherited from her mother. Her plan as a young entrepreneur is to transform her craft hobby into a business. Her advice to future craft lovers is “if there is a craft that you can do keep doing it and sell what ever it may be. Do something you enjoy doing. Make it your brand because no one else can do what you do.”