ePa Live: Seeking Black Autonomy & Happiness In Africa

This Saturday we heard from Professor Joseph Mbele on the recent uptick in Black folks returning to Africa. He discussed the benefits and the delusions of African Americans seeking autonomy and happiness in the Motherland.

Prof. Mbele teaches at St. Olaf, specializing in folklore and the connection between folklore and literature. He has done folklore fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, and the USA, and given lectures and conference papers on folklore in Canada, Finland, India, Israel, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and USA. After earning a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and before coming to St. Olaf in 1990 to teach post-colonial and third-world literature, he taught in the Literature Department of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Over the years, he has taught courses such as Swahili Literature, Theory of Literature, African Literature, Sociology of Literature, Post-Colonial and Third World Literature, The Epic, and African-American Literature.

The full show can be found HERE.

Professor Mbele on Capitalism:

Question of the Day:

prime minister-mia mottley

Prime Minister Of Barbados To Address Global Conference In Baltimore On Reparations

Barbados Prime Minister, The Honorable Mia Amor Mottley To Deliver Major Address On Reparations

Don Rojas, Director of Communications and International Relations for the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) received confirmation today that the Honorable Mia Amor Mottley has confirmed to attend State of the Black World Conference V as a Special Guest to deliver a Keynote Address on reparations.  She will join His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana in addressing the Conference which is organized around the theme: Global Africans Rising, Empowerment Reparations and Healing. mia mottley-prime minister-barbados

Prime Minister Mottley has emerged as a major figure in the Caribbean advocating for stronger ties with the African Union and a global emphasis on reparatory justice with Africa playing a more active role. She has called for a global summit on reparations in collaboration with the CARICOM Reparations Commission, the African Union, National African American Reparations Commission and reparations commissions from various regions of the Global Black Diaspora.

“We are honored and delighted that Prime Minister Mia Mottley has accepted our invitation to play a major role in State of the Black World Conference V,” Dr. Ron Daniels, President of IBW stated. “She has shown an eagerness to work with President Addo of Ghana in expanding and strengthening the global reparations movement. Once Vice-President Francia Marquez from Colombia confirms, we will have a formidable trio of leaders embracing the cause of reparatory justice as the ‘human rights issue of the 21st Century’ as proclaimed by Professor Hilary Beckles.”

Mia Mottley will be presented the IBW Legacy Award at the Global Women’s Leadership Summit at the Conference for her historic role as the first woman Prime Minister of Barbados. Firsts are no stranger to this woman of distinction as noted in her bio. “Mia Amor Mottley has lived a public life of firsts – first female leader of the Barbados Labour Party and the Opposition; first female Attorney General, a post she held for five years; and youngest ever Queen’s Counsel in Barbados. On 25 May 2018, Mottley became the eighth Prime Minister of Barbados and the first woman to hold the post. prime minister-mia mottley

Registration Details can be found: HERE.

Media contact: Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW, IBW21)


Guggenheim Appoints First Black Deputy Director & Chief Curator In Its 60-Year History


According to The New York Times, The Guggenheim recently recruited the first Black deputy director and head curator in the museum’s 60-year history. The first Black woman to hold the position, Naomi Beckwith was recently chosen deputy director and top curator at the storied Guggenheim Museum.


Beckwith began her career as an associate curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem and earned a master’s degree from the esteemed Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She has held curatorial positions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago since 2011, and in 2018 she was promoted to senior curator. Beckwith will now take Nancy Spector’s place as the Guggenheim’s new director and curator.

Beckwith’s former work includes multidisciplinary offerings exploring issues of identify and innovative exhibitions showcasing the work of avant-garde artist Howardena Pindell, in “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now” and “Homebodies.” She also worked to spearhead a project with British-Nigerian sculptor Yinka Shonibare, exploring race, colonialism and cultural identity.

Naomi Beckwith Talks: https://oolitearts.org/video/talks-naomi-beckwith/ 

Talks: Naomi Beckwith

The era of women is in full swing.


ByBlack and EatOkra List Of Best Black-Owned Restaurants In America

USBC is excited to announce that ByBlack has partnered with EatOkra, an innovative new app for discovering Black-owned restaurants, to bring the best eateries in America to your fingertips. The curated list of over one thousand Black-owned restaurants in the United States is made up of hand-selected establishments that have been identified as some of the best in the country.

ByBlack and EatOkra have been working together to build a stronger community, and this partnership is a key demonstration of the importance of mission-aligned partnerships in achieving common goals. In addition, both ByBlack and EatOkra are demonstrating their commitment to empowering Black-owned businesses by growing their digital communities and providing quality resources for those businesses.

“As ByBlack continues to collaborate with other brands to build a world where Black businesses thrive, we are thrilled to be working alongside EatOkra, a ByBlack Certified business, to bring awareness to Black-owned restaurants that are often the heart of their communities. We know that this partnership will offer our users the most comprehensive and reliable information about the best places to eat.” says Alicea Gay, VP of External Affairs, ByBlack. 

EatOkra is a searchable database of more than 15,000 Black-owned restaurants across the country. It provides information about each establishment including location, hours of operation and menu items offered. Users can also rate their dining experience at each restaurant so other users can make informed decisions when deciding where they want to eat next time they visit a particular city or town. “EatOkra is excited to curate this list of Black-owned restaurants in partnership with ByBlack. By continuing to offer comprehensive resources for intentional customers seeking cultural food experiences, we see a future that supports the health and the wealth of the Black food community.” says Anthony Edwards, Co-Founder, EatOkra. 

The new partnership will allow consumers, foodies, and culinary aficionados to find restaurants on both EatOkra and ByBlack directories at www.usblackchambers.org/top1k.



The U.S. Black Chambers (USBC) is the voice of Black business owners and a top advocate for resources and policies that impact Black business owners. To learn more visit: usblackchambers.org. Follow our work and connect with us: https://www.facebook.com/usblackchambers and instagram.com/usblackchambers.


ByBlack is the first national certification program exclusively for Black-ownership designation. ByBlack provides businesses an approved accreditation trusted by customers and enables consumers and other companies to easily find U.S. based Black-owned businesses. Businesses can complete the ByBlack certification process or create a directory profile by visiting www.byblack.us. The ByBlack directory enables Black-owned businesses to network, partner with others in the community, increase their visibility and expand revenue opportunities. Learn more at www.byblack.us.

Media Contact: Tiffany Murphy | usbc@thecultureequity.com


Creed III & The Spy vs. Spy Culture War It Symbolizes


sylvester_stallone_rockyThe highly anticipated installment of the Rocky film series, Creed III with Michael B. Jordan, came out in theaters last Friday and critics are already calling it a box-office hit. I agree, because it was a perfect artistic snapshot of our current social dilemmas. The storyline was strong and entertaining and the symbolism was expressive of the times we’re living in, especially through the two main characters. Their names, mannerisms, including the boxing colors and style worn by the protagonist and antagonist took a direct page from America’s social, political and cultural tug-of-war.

Jordan in white gloves and all white American flag boxing shorts, against Majors in black gloves wearing red, black and green African flag colored shorts. Their character names, Adonis and Damian is also symbolic of the competing white and black narratives of modern American identity; one socially structured to be seen as good, the other to be seen as evil regardless of the truth of the matter. In Creed III, Adonis is offered as the hero even though he ran away from the fight he started that landed his friend Damian, the villain, in prison. This film directed by Michael B. Jordan who plays Adonis Creed, is skillfully cloaked as entertainment but if you go beyond its surface, you’ll see that it also encapsulates our American struggles. Creed III is a symbolic representation of our social battlegrounds and the internal strife between Black folks still struggling for their fair share of the American pie and rightful place in the annals of American history. In this film arena the dueling gladiators are both Black, but Adonis is team White Spy.

spy_vs_spyIf you’re familiar with Mad Magazine’s iconic Spy vs. Spy cartoon of the never-ending battle between black and white spies, than you won’t have too far to venture for this comparative analysis to Creed III. It’s your typical good versus evil drama full of suspense, folklore and life lessons; however, Creed III also captured the conscientiousness of our nation that dialogue and protest has failed to do, and today’s PC and woke culture has stifled. The film discreetly exposes the cavern that continues to divide African Americans into different cultural, ideological and economic groups. There are those who embrace Africa as the Motherland and only see a prosperous and unified future nation with the issue of reparations resolved and justice reached, to those who have lost their connection to Africa and instead pledge allegiance to claim a nation their ancestors built through chattel slavery as their new aboriginal home. A recent example of this is actress Raven-Symoné declaring that she sees herself as an American, not African American or even Black, arguing she has no connection to Africa.

Let me go further. It’s akin to the difference between Black folks in the north and Black folks in the south, the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, the ideology of Dr. Cornell West and Candace Owens, Jason Whitlock and Dick Gregory, Dr. Umar Johnson and Charleston White, 50 Cent and Oprah, Flame Monroe and Ts Madison, Jeffrey Star and Dylan Mulvaney. You get the gist. In Creed III the difference between Adonis and Damian is as stark as the opposing ideological paths traveled by Angela Davis and Julia Clarence Brown. Make no mistake, Creed III is not just harmless entertainment, it’s a folktale of the struggle for American identity and Michael B. Jordan as Adonis is no different than Samuel L. Jackson as Stephen Warren in Django Unchained. Both characters are fighting to preserve America’s white identity and white superiority. creed_damian

The film ended in typical storytelling arc; the protagonist ends up on top maintaining his hero status and the antagonist ends up as most villains do in movies. Still, the symbolism and social tug-of-war didn’t end there. Creed III took up the gender debate as well after its release and the debut of Jonathan Majors (Damian) dressed in pink feminine frock on the cover of Ebony magazine, further fueling debate and the criticism that Black men in America are deliberately being emasculated by the entertainment industry. jonathan_majors_ebony_coverCreed III is parallel to the White Spy (Adonis) beating the Black Spy (Damian), and forcing him to wear women’s clothing and thigh-high boots on the cover of a Black magazine. And how ironic that Majors’, (Black Spy) last major movie role was titled, The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

Regardless if you’re team White Spy or Black Spy, it’s time for us to stop fighting each other and other people’s battles, even if it’s for entertainment. Chris Rock in his timely Netflix special, Selective Outrage, said it best as he recounted his parents teachings, “Don’t fight in front of white people.”


ePa Live_02252023

ePa Live: Racism & Technology In The Age of AI, Cultural Theft & Social Devaluation

ePa Live Guest:

  • Dr. Niyana “KoKo” Rasayon, MA., PhD., LPCC, Behavioral Neuroscientist; Associate Professor, University of the District of Columbia

Dr. Rasayon has authored two books that build on social neuroscience, “Reality Check: A Manual for the Hue-man Octahedron & The Mystery of Melanin, and The Awakening: OMG The President is Black”. His Master’s thesis examined the psychological characteristics of vegetarians & non-vegetarians. He is a Board-Certified Fellow & Diplomate in Afrikan Centered-Black Psychology. Dr. Rasayon has taught psychology for 16 years, three of which included courses in the U S Pentagon. Dr. Rasayon also completed the first EEG (brain waves) study on culture and learning styles among Afrikan-Amerikan males at Howard University. His work, programs and books can be found at: www.eyeofmaat.com

This Saturday we will discuss his work, the impact of technology on the brain, healthy ways to co-exist with technology and why Black people are disproportionately and negatively impacted by algorithms and facial technology.  Join the conversation, like, share and subscribe! If you missed it, no worries, check it out below. 

rihanna as mother

Rihanna Redefined The Modern Woman At Super Bowl LVII


Rihanna rose as the symbol of the modern woman, a real wonder woman capable of magic, during her halftime performance at Super Bowl 57. Her red cape and superhero look completes this assertion of her super woman status. And in a time when womanhood is under heightened assault, Rihanna rose to meet the moment like the Joan of Arc of Hip-Hop to reclaim our sacred places and spaces in society. What is a woman? Rihanna. And that is an exemplary answer to that ridiculous question that many are pretending to fumble with. Even the historic confirmation hearings to seat the nation’s first Black woman as U.S. Supreme Court Justice wasn’t immune to this idiocrasy. And sadly, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson didn’t answer the loaded question with just a side-eye an eyeroll. 

Rihanna_Super Bowl 57

Rihanna rose like a red phoenix on her floating stage. And she rose as a true Black goddess too, carrying new life and solidifying the Black woman as the true cradle of mankind and humanity. And she didn’t have to wear a costume crown to appear like the queen that she naturally is. She came as the true definition of a queen mother: responsible for life and giving life. She doesn’t need obsessive fans attacking non-fans like a lost beehive, either. And Stephen A. Smith is absolutely right, Rihanna certainly ain’t Beyoncé.

Rihanna is the epitome of the modern woman who fully embraces and understands her power and her secure place in society and in area she chooses to thrive in. Rihanna performed for us mortals, but her talents are ancestral, deep rooted and long traveled. Rihanna, with her fantastic Super Bowl performance solidifies that women are not just strong, but capable of anything. Even perform pregnant at the Super Bowl. No one can ever do what we do, no matter how hard they try to duplicate our magic.

Rihanna_Super Bowl 57

Rihanna—pregnant with her second child with partner A$AP Rocky—drew a reported 118.7 million viewers, while the big game between Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles pulled in 113 million viewers. Another major win for the superstar is the boost to her already popular Fenty brand. According to reports, Rihanna’s entire makeup look was composed of Fenty Beauty products, and her backup dancers wore custom Savage x Fenty sports bras and boxers in white. This Super Bowl performance was hands-down a 360° win for Rihanna, and women by default are getting a positive trickledown effect from her success. 



Los Angeles Urban League Makes History With Appointment Of First Woman Chief Operating Officer


The highly respected non-profit executive makes history by becoming the first woman Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the legendary civil rights organization as it begins its second century of service to underserved communities in Los Angeles County.


Ron Carter | tca@sbcglobal.net | (626) 345-1413

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, January 12, 2023:  Cynthia Mitchell Heard, a highly respected leader in nonprofit, has joined the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).  The announcement was made by Ambassador Michael A. Lawson, President and CEO of the perennial civil rights organization.  The appointment is a historic one for the iconic organization, with Ms. Heard becoming the first woman to hold this leadership position at LAUL.

“We are excited to have Cynthia Heard as our new Chief Operating Officer,” said Ambassador Lawson.  “Ms. Heard has an extensive background and experience in the non-profit world and her accomplishments in bettering the lives of disenfranchised communities in Los Angeles are admirable and remarkable.  We are looking forward to her leadership as we move the Los Angeles Urban League into its second 100 years of service.”

Cynthia Mitchell Heard previously served as Vice President of Business Development and Communications  for the YWCA Greater Los Angeles (YWCA, GLA), creating and helming unprecedented social impact campaigns which serve as a blueprint for systemic change.  Ms. Heard created a myriad of public/private, state, local and federal partnerships to design innovative community and operational collaborations throughout Los Angeles County to fund supportive services. During the COVID 19 pandemic, she developed key funding mechanisms through her steadfast efforts and assisted with promoting economic stability through public private workforce development, community engagement and securing resources to improve disenfranchised communities that experienced lack of access.

Prior, Ms. Heard served as Senior Executive Vice President of Programs for Children Uniting Nations (CUN) where she developed national collaborative stakeholder partnerships and created statewide bi-partisan advocacy initiatives that focused on new avenues to break down the barriers that surround at-risk/foster youth and marginalized families.

“It is my honor to join President & CEO, Michael Lawson, and the entire team at the Los Angeles Urban League,” said Cynthia Heard.  “I am truly looking forward to embracing the mission of LAUL and the commitment of this stellar team as we continue the advancement of the ongoing community engagement programs, economic stability/self-reliance, civil rights advocacy and the workforce enrichment of our marginalized and disenfranchised communities throughout Los Angeles.”

Cynthia Heard received her Master of Education from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. She is a distinguished board member of California Women League of Voters, University of Southern California- Black Alumni Association, KIS Foundation (Sickle Cell) and International Black Women Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI).

About Los Angeles Urban League

Los Angeles Urban League serves, educates and empowers African Americans and other minorities to secure economic self-reliance and civil rights by providing targeted social programs and advocating for issues that benefit our communities. Visit and follow Los Angeles Urban League WebsiteFacebookInstagram and Twitter

ePa Live_01142023

ePa Live: Harnessing Potential, Prison Health, Con Man Santos, Leader McCarthy & The Republican Party

ePa Live at 2PM EST today, (1/14/23) on the following topics: Harnessing Potential, Prison Health, Con Man George Santos, Leader Kevin McCarthy & The State of the Republican Party.
We livestream on Facebook and YouTube: @epluribusamerica and on Twitter: @ePluribusUSA.

This weeks guests are:

  • Jermiko Thomas, Author an Entrepreneur on harnessing your potential, the importance of kindness and standing up for victims of bullying. 
  •  Oneika Mays, Yogi, Meditation Expert and Activist will discuss her work, prison health and the benefits of meditation and yoga. She will also discuss her work on Rikers Island.
  • Gregory Cheadle, Politician and Real Estate Broker will discuss Con Man George Santos, Leader Kevin McCarthy and the state of the Republican Party he left after Trump called him “his African American.”If you missed ePa Live this week,  no worries, check it our below! And we’ll catch up on the next ePa LIVE, Saturdays at 2PM EST!


meghan markle effect

The Meghan Markle Media Massacre


Aaawkward! Yaaa’ll … this is really bad. I mean, really, really bad. Even if you’ve purposefully averted your eyes and attention, you still know exactly what I’m referring to: the trailer of Harry and Meghan’s 6-part docuseries being exposed as manipulative, and amateurish reality television. Everything they’re doing is turning into a dumpster fire. On the heels of Princess Catherine in that envy green dress, no less! As the vicious world wide web picks apart the docuseries frame by frame like feasting piranhas, and despite the madness of all the royal drama, this clash is an ancient story of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, and brother vs. brother when the hierarchy pushes one up and the other further down the line.

prince william and princess catherine

When Harry and Meghan first came on the scene, I was excited about their union. And when Queen Elizabeth II presented her with her own family crest, I was thrilled and looked forward to more positive news from the modern couple, even though I didn’t keep up with royal news. Today, Harry and Meghan have dominated the airwaves for all the wrong reasons. Despite a genuine gripe of mistreatment and institutional racism, the couple have turned bitter on most lips and tongues. Social media is now competing to outdo itself with meme’s poking fun at the couple, especially after the release of the trailer, conspicuously during their in-laws royal trip to Boston. This is the moment when things got awkward.

Although Harry and Meghan still had some fan support, mostly Harry, the timing of the trailer’s release, the snarky twitter post that tagged it, including a new image of their son, Archie, turned the public away, and the impact it aimed for completely fizzled out like a dud firecracker. The fallout is still being felt, as senior Archewell staff run from their sinking PR ship. Although Harry is taking the media lashing alongside his wife, most of the venom is aimed at Meghan Markle. And Americans, with indefinable cultural attitudes, have not given Markle a U.S. pass either. From the turmoil surrounding her family relationships and friendship dynamics to her wedding guest list, Americans seem to agree that, just like Karen’s, they don’t like Meghan Markle. Even the comment section of positive stories on the Duchess of Sussex is filled with vitriol and total disdain for this woman. It’s quite shocking. harry & meghan

But what makes this entire media circus awkward is that we’re just getting started. There are 6 docuseries in total that will supposedly tell their “full truth” about the racism and deliberate mistreatment Markle experienced as a working royal. Piers Morgan, I mean, the world now anxiously waits to dissect every frame that will undoubtedly go on to live as meme’s on social media.

Global criticism has been ferocious and nonstop. The loud criticism is the symbolic tarring and feathering of Harry and Meghan. Many would say it’s well deserved. And Meghan comparing herself to Nelson Mandela, lying about conversations and events that never occurred, exaggerating a fire story that endangered their child’s life, posturing as environmental warriors while taking private jets, selling sad castle tales of being the royal “spare” prince, Markle claiming she is an only child and of course the infamous, if not scandalous Oprah Winfrey interview where the couple accused the British Royal Family of racism, didn’t help their pleas for pity.

Mind you, the world knows the truth of the matter and the history of the monarchy. I mean, even Harry wore a swastika armband once despite the many trips his late mother took to Africa to serve those less fortunate. The late Princess Diana turned her platform into service to others. She served others boldly and unapologetically, despite the “full truth” of the British monarchy she operated and advanced her goodwill to others under. She had a platform and used it to serve less fortunate people, and that’s why she became The Peoples Princess and will forever live as Queen in peoples hearts. No manipulation or PR machine feeding the trolls was used or needed for her star to shine as intended. She was authentic, unlike the Harkles.

Either way, the Montecito couple is not going away. They can’t. And it’s not the tarring that keeps them stuck in position, but rather the alleged $100-million Netflix deal they made with the devil.

Want to Netflix and chill? You may want to think about it. netflix devil deal