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Verizon

Black Boys Become The Focus Of Verizon's New Outreach Program

Verizon is using their energy and resources on enriching the lives of black boys across the country.

FACT: Black women are the most educated group in the United States. There's a higher percentage of black women enrolled in four-year colleges across the nation than any other group. The news proved worthy of a high-five, fist bump and a hair flip for all black women, and acted as a standard for others to follow suit. But the celebratory news begged another question: what about black boys?

As black women continue to break glass ceilings, black boys are unfortunately being targeted for prison as early as kindergarten. Verizon--hoping to change that narrative--unveiled its Innovative Learning program for Minority Males at he 2016 Essence Festival. During a dinner at New Orleans famed Dooky Chase restaurant, Verizon's Vice President of Customer Care Kwame Trotman along with singer-songwriter Kelly Rowland spoke about the initiative and why its needed.

"When you think about the Verizon Innovative Learning Program for minority males, that's an opportunity for us to actually touch young youth, right? And we have a great representation in the back room, " Trotman said pointing to a few students from the program who were also at the restaurant. "At an early age and given the encouragement and letting them know that we have the tools and we also give them the pathway to allow them to do anything they want to do. They are our future creators, they are our future leaders, they are the ones that one day will help lead our company to greatness. And that's where we knew we really wanted to make [the impact.]

The initiative is a two year program that gives middle-school boys access to high grade technology, which will allow them the opportunity to learn coding, robotics, 3D design, and STEM. There's no slacking off in the summer, as the students will be engrossed in all day technology courses at participating universities across the nation, and when the school year resumes students meet with mentors for support and guidance.

A few of the colleges participating in the Verizon Innovative Learning Program are Clark Atlanta University, University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C, Delaware State University, Texas Southern University, and Trotman's alma matter Hampton University.

Kelly Rowland, who's the mother to her soon-to-be 2 year old son Titan praised Verizon for their bold step to invest in black boys, but also spoke directly to the young men in attendance and offered sound advice.

"Looking at these gentlemen, I do see my son and I just pray they make great decisions. I I pray you always listen and that you take in your surroundings. It's fun listening to "Panda" but "Panda" can't get you your education. "Panda" can't help you in school, "Panda" is like all those things, like I said we love "Panda" I get it but just make sure you have your priorities. If you have your goals, write those down. And put them right in front of you everyday. That way you don't lose thought and you don't lose sight of what exactly it is that you want."

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Courtesy of ReeMarkable

Premiere: ReeMarkable Turns The Lights Down Low With Sy Ari Da Kid For "VIBE"

Rapper Henree Wright, also known as ReeMarkable, is slowing things down on the sweetest of days with her new single, "VIBE."

With songwriter Sy Ari Da Kid (Future, Waka Flocka Flame) on the track, the two toy with an idea of a relationship after years apart. In addition to the love that lies beneath the games, the song also serves as a great addition to any playlist dedicated to Mary Jane. Produced by Atlanta's 8 Major, ReeMarkable takes a detour from the gritty raps heard on tracks like "Pardon Me" and "Bonnie And Clyde" and into more experimental sounds.

ReeMarkable's journey in music has been documented through her time on the series Growing Up Hip-Hop as the daughter of the late iconic rapper, Eazy-E. As his youngest child, the rapper-singer opened up about her struggles breaking into the industry and how she plans to honor her father through her music.

Recently, ReeMarkable paid homage to her father by recreating his most iconic images. Originally taken by legendary photographer Ricky Powell, ReeMarkable's take is commendable as she barely a striking resemblance to Eazy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I was a baby when you left this world , I have no memories, but I also don’t have any pain from your return to heaven. I am honored to be your daughter . I am the Spitting image of you and it warms me to see a legend every-time I look in the mirror. Today is a day for celebration as you would have came upon your 54th birthday . So here’s my gift to you . A shoot dedicated to simply, you . I directed this shoot and worked with a great team to capture your spirit daddy . I Love you & Happy Birthday , I hope you all enjoy . Captured by @lsfotography1 Graphics by @colourfulmula Make up by @tunchyy.marie Styled & directed by @iamreemarkable Special thanks to @vinceamani @exclusivegame , @bfflyer , @lakayb_ @thelazyhustler & All my Family Friends and Fans !! 🧡 #ripeazye EVERYONE SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR ME 🎈🎁

A post shared by ReeMarkable (@iamreemarkable) on Sep 7, 2018 at 7:14am PDT

Enjoy "VIBE" below.

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A Boogie wit da Hoodie attends Rolling Loud Los Angeles 2019 Fueled by West Coast Cure on December 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Jerod Harris

New Music Friday: A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Justin Bieber, Tink

This weekend is Valentine's Day, and artists like A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Justin Bieber and Tink are sure to set the mood with two albums full of romantic tunes. Look below for more new music this week.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – Artist 2.0 A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie's new album has been a long time in the making by today's standards, with his last project dropping in 2018. Artist 2.0 is appropriate with a Valentine's Day drop, as the album showcases the Bronx artist's versatile R&B melodies. "I've got everything. I've got heartbreak, babymaking, streets..." the 24-year-old told Ebro while visiting Hot 97. "...When y'all hear this album, it's going to be a lot of questions. 'What is he trying to get to?' You're going to hear a switchover on the album, and it's going to be a whole different mood." Guests on the album include Young Thug, Roddy Ricch, Gunna, Summer Walker, Khalid, and Lil Uzi Vert. Apple Music | TIDAL

Justin Bieber – Changes Changes marks a return to music for the hitmaker Justin Bieber, whose last album was released in 2015. And the title is appropriate: he's turned from a teenage superstar into a married man, and much of the album shows love to his wife, Hailey. Bieber calls on Post Malone, Clever, Lil Dicky, Travis Scott, Kehlani, and Summer Walker for features. Apple Music | TIDAL

Pop Smoke – Meet The Woo 2 (Deluxe) Pop Smoke is one of the hottest new artists of 2020, with his hit "Welcome To The Party" taking over NYC last year and his album Meet The Woo 2 dropping at the top of the year. The album's new deluxe edition includes three new songs: “Wolves” with NAV, and a remix of “Dior” with Gunna, and “Like Me” featuring PnB Rock. Apple Music | TIDAL

Tink – Hopeless Romantic Chicago singer and rapper Tink has shown immense talent through singles like "Treat Me Like Somebody" and "Don't Tell Me Somebody," but a promising record deal with Timbaland appeared to go down the drain after 2017.  Now, after Voicemails (April 2019), she's trending on Valentine's Day with the release of her sensual new project, Hopeless Romantic. Apple Music | TIDAL

YG ft. Kehlani – "Konclusions" In another Valentine's Day drop, the couple of YG and Kehlani release a new love song, "Konclusions." Apple Music | TIDAL

Snoh Aalegra ft. Pharrell – "Whoa (Remix)" Snoh Aalegra's album Ugh, Those Feels Again was one of VIBE's favorites of 2019, and this weekend, the singer teams up with Pharrell for a mellow remix of the album's highlight "Whoa." Apple Music | TIDAL

Migos ft. Travis Scott, Young Thug – GNF (Give No Fxk) Migos has enlisted Travis Scott and Young Thug for "GNF (Give No Fxk)," a song that should satisfy fans waiting for the trio's upcoming Culture III album.

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OneUnited Bank Debuts Limited-Edition Harriet Tubman Debit Card

One of the nation’s oldest Black-owned banks is celebrating Black History Month with a special Harriet Tubman debit card. The OneUnited Bank limited-edition VISA debit card symbolizes “Black empowerment,” the company announced on Thursday (Feb. 13).

“We have the power to place Harriet Tubman on a global payment device in celebration of Black History Month,” said One United Bank's President & COO Teri Williams. “This symbol of Black empowerment in 2020 will pave the way for the Harriet Tubman design on the $20 bill.”

But Twitter users immediately noticed that the card features Tubman with her hands crossed over her chest like the “Wakanda Forever” salute from Black Panther. The image of Tubman came from the panting “The Conqueror” by world renowned Miami artist Addonis Parker.

The debit card, which is only be available in 2020, is the first-limited-edition card offered by OneUnited Bank. Besides paying tribute to Tubman, OneUnited pledges to promote the “Right to Vote” theme during Black History Month and to “elevate the #BankBlack and #BuyBlack Movements to the next level and beyond.”

Read some of the reactions to the Tubman debit card below.

When I pull my Harriet Tubman VISA out my wallet at a racist location pic.twitter.com/14m8NhnPi3

— Al-Shabazz (@shabazz_jab) February 13, 2020

FAM NOT THE WAKANDA SALUTE TOO pic.twitter.com/jeQOM1YfjO

— THE KID MERO 🇩🇴 (@THEKIDMERO) February 13, 2020

DO YOU THINK HARRIET TUBMAN WAS WALKING AROUND SALUTING WAKANDA WHILE SHE WAS TAKING SLAVES???? TO FREEDOM? https://t.co/1yhWavQy0m

— marv (@ofstarvinmarrv) February 13, 2020

Harriet Tubman is the ultimate symbol of fearless organizing and rebellion against a sadistic capitalist enterprise (slavery). Put Oprah on yall visa card and go 😒 https://t.co/QVQShNnEic

— Noname (@noname) February 14, 2020

Make it make sense, y’all https://t.co/og8eJObUvv

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 13, 2020

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