MBHM – Birthright Africa

Making Black History Moments (MBHM) – In September 2015 Birthright Africa was founded to inspire youth and young adults of African descent ages 13 – 30 to explore their cultural roots and legacy of innovation within the United States and select nations in Africa as a birthright.

AFRICA

I, like many Americans, have sought out the services of DNA analytics companies in an attempt to learn more about my genetic legacy. Having grown up African-African during the 20th century with the full understanding that I come from the shame-filled folds of an U.S. tapestry that at times is afraid to let in the light, I still agonize over the not knowing parts of myself.

I don’t know the stories of my people passing back from ancient mother and daughter. Our song is broken and rough, yet it endures. And while I have walked the lands of my white forefathers, I have yet to return home.

I love the work that Birthright Africa is doing by helping young people recover their broken bits of song. By providing them with the opportunity to connect with the land of their ancestors is more than a small thing. It is an immense act of love. I only wish that all displaced Africans were afforded the opportunity to journey home for healing, for learning, for future-casting.

If you know of someone who needs to know about this opportunity you can learn more about the work of Birthright Africa at https://birthrightafrica.org.


Marta C. Youngblood is the founder and creative engine behind TheWRITEaddiction creatives co-op founded in 2014 as a virtual community supporting writers from all over the United States of America. Marta’s passion drives her to support the success of creatives from all walks of life to honor their talent and share it with the world. She believes that working in our creative callings does not have to be synonymous with being a “starving artist” and helps creatives master the business skills and strategies they need to work in their gifts.

MBHM – Going Goebel Savage

Making Black History Moments (MBHM) – On September 20, 2019, Rihanna launched her Savage x Fenty Fashion Show on Amazon featuring her lingerie fashion collection celebrating all genders choreographed by Parris Goebel.

Savage x Fenty Fashion Show – September 20, 2019

Why not celebrate the work of two incredible brown, female, artists coming to snatch every bit of your hair out and leave you wondering what life was like before they rocked your world?

The work that Rihanna has created via her fashion line has filled a gaping hole in the worlds of curvy and “non-fashion standard” women worldwide. I still get chills thinking about the morning I woke up and saw this fashion show for the first time. The sheer diversity of designs and body types literally moved me to tears. As I explored why the moment hit me that hard I realized that while I adore participating in the consumer end of fashion shows, IT IS RARE for me to see models who reflect my body type up on the runway.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s way better than it used to be, but we have a LONG way to go.

When you’re a big, curvy girl you are taught to hide your body until and if you can “fix” your body to fit the standard fashion type. There’s a lot of shame that you wade through and no where is it quite as obvious as when you go to shop for lingerie. (pause)

Yeah, I had to take a few deep breaths because shit is real.

So, I appreciate Rihanna so much for working to fill this neglected space with beautiful designs and shapes that celebrate all body types because I didn’t know how badly I needed that salve right then and there.

But then she had to go and introduce me to the work of Parris Goebel…

Y’all, if I could just spend one day a week in her studio to learn and celebrate all of the wonderful ways in which my body can move and celebrate life… you couldn’t tell me NOTHING! I would dance to and from the mailbox. Because in addition to there being so much work to be done in creating fashion for curvy girls, there’s also a narrative about the way big girls should move their bodies. Ms. Parris ain’t tryna hear that.

If you haven’t seen the show, give yourself the gift of rolling over to Amazon Originals and see what you’ve been missing. To read my original blog on the show Click HERE.


Marta C. Youngblood is the founder and creative engine behind TheWRITEaddiction creatives co-op founded in 2014 as a virtual community supporting writers from all over the United States of America. Marta’s passion drives her to support the success of creatives from all walks of life to honor their talent and share it with the world. She believes that working in our creative callings does not have to be synonymous with being a “starving artist” and helps creatives master the business skills and strategies they need to work in their gifts.

MBHM – Travel and the Nomadness Revolution

Making Black History Moments (MBHM): In September of 2011 Evie Robinson founded the Nomadness Travel Tribe, an award winning virtual community of over 20,000 black and brown nomads who contribute over $50 million into the travel industry annually.

Showing off my very first official passport stamp in Barcelona, Spain on June 2, 2019.

I am infected with Wanderlust. You can see it swirling all around me as I dart here and there. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to stay still in the same place. My brain just can’t bend around the concept. It might have something to do with the way I came up.

I was about 10 years old when I made up my mind that I would one day visit Barcelona. My logic was clear and simple, I was studying Spanish in school and loved the language so I should clearly go speak Spanish with Spaniards in Spain.

Give me a break, I was 10 and living in the middle of a cornfield. 🤷🏾‍♀️. While my initial motivation for visiting Spain may have been a bit underdeveloped, the notion never left me.

Even at that age, I was no stranger to travel. My parents took me on my first plane ride from Savannah, GA, to Chicagoland to meet my paternal grandparents for the first time before I celebrated my second birthday. By 10, I had already visited at least 10 of the 50 states and Canada 🇨🇦. I honestly thought that was what everyone did. I was a kid and so I didn’t have a passport to stamp and I don’t even remember anyone asking us for one. We were visiting family in Detroit and decided to cross the river and spend the day in Windsor. It was a very different time.

It wasn’t until college that I got close to leaving the country again. My school wasn’t offering a study abroad program to Spain but they had one to Cuernavaca, Mexico 🇲🇽. I was so excited and then they cancelled the trip because I was the only student who signed up to go. I was heartbroken.

I finally managed to leave the mainland and set foot in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands due to an amazing job that required I travel on occasion to places like that (😆) but neither of those places granted me the satisfaction of a passport stamp.

Years later, when my husband and I finally took a moment to have a honeymoon I just KNEW this would be my time. We were cruising to the Bahamas and I was READY to join the passport club. I returned to the mainland defeated. The customs agent just scanned my passport through the machine. NO STAMP 😩! Not only was my passport book still naked on the inside, but our bank account was breached so we were broke in Florida and had to figure out how to drive back home with no money and no help from our bank because it was a federal holiday. But that’s another story for another day…

So there I was, sitting at my computer one day 🧑🏾‍💻 halfway through my 38 year of fabulosity when it hit me. I needed to get stamped by any means necessary. It just so happened that this decision happened close to the time when my brother and his family pulled up stakes and relocated to Northern Italy 🇮🇹 to try something new. Now I had even greater motivation to break free of the North American continent so I could go see my little nephew and niece. I figured it out and landed in Barcelona on June 2, 2019, and backpacked my way across Spain 🇪🇸, France 🇫🇷 and Italy 🇮🇹. It was fantastic! The only real let down was that I only got stamped for Spain because I entered the EU there, a situation I partly rectified by returning to Europe six months later and getting my Paris stamp 😆!

Knowing a bit of my travelocity, is it really any wonder that I would feel an immediate kinship to the Nomadness Travel Tribe. The work these organizers have and continue to do is soul work. It’s cleansing and healing and something sorely needed in our current atmosphere.

People need people.

All kinds of people.

Same people, different people, bad joke making people, smarties, slofies, you name it, we need it!

Travel helps us be better to one another and connect. As I consider my upcoming travel I know that a few things will remain constant for me.

1. I will convene with members of my tribe on a regular basis for my personal health and well-being.

2. June is my month to celebrate me and will involve travel. This year’s trip is going to be epic.

3. I will authentically share my travel stories because someone might be waiting to free themselves to live more fully and my story might help them.

To learn more about the Nomadness Travel Tribe please go visit https://www.nomadnesstv.com/ and know that this movement isn’t going to slow down because it can only grow because we NEED Nomadness!


Marta C. Youngblood is the founder and creative engine behind TheWRITEaddiction creatives co-op founded in 2014 as a virtual community supporting writers from all over the United States of America. Marta’s passion drives her to support the success of creatives from all walks of life to honor their talent and share it with the world. She believes that working in our creative callings does not have to be synonymous with being a “starving artist” and helps creatives master the business skills and strategies they need to work in their gifts.

MBHM – Black Menswear

Making Black History Moments (MBHM): On February 16, 2019, Black Menswear sponsored a fashion flash mob of over 100 black men styling and profiling in Dallas, Texas, combating the negative narrative surrounding men of African descent living in the United States of America.

Photo Credit: Stephon Lathom Photography

Y’all, I saw a few images from this account roll across my timeline and had to dig a little to find the source. Imagine my delight when I discovered an Arkansas connection. 🥰 This isn’t even about a “oooh they fone” moment. It was just refreshing to see images of black men that were “normal” for me on a public platform. I mean, look at them!

Photo Credit: Stephon Lathom Photography

This effort is based out of Dallas, Texas, and incorporates the concept of a black menswear flash mob photo shoot to push these positive images into cyberspace. Loving it!

If you want to add a little extra happy to your day, do yourself a favor and go follow @blackmenswear on Instagram. You’re welcome. 😉


Marta C. Youngblood is the founder and creative engine behind TheWRITEaddiction creatives co-op founded in 2014 as a virtual community supporting writers from all over the United States of America. Marta’s passion drives her to support the success of creatives from all walks of life to honor their talent and share it with the world. She believes that working in our creative callings does not have to be synonymous with being a “starving artist” and helps creatives master the business skills and strategies they need to work in their gifts.

MBHM – The Village Market

Making Black History Moments (MBHM): In January of 2016, Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon begins offering master classes under the banner of “It Takes A Village” with a focus on supporting entrepreneurship development, financial literacy and women’s empowerment. This effort would quickly grow into The Village Market, an Atlanta-based ecosystem reaching small businesses in 21 states and four countries, with an official partnership with The Bahamas.

I posted a status online a few weeks ago that I know some amazing people doing incredible things in the world. One of those people who I admire and love with my whole heart is Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon (yes, I use her whole name and title).

Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, The Village Market Founder

Key stepped out on faith in a way many people never will and through trials and triumphs launched what is now a vital and growing business ecosystem that promotes black excellence in business on a daily basis.

The Village Market Atlanta 2017

A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend one of the Village Markets which was a bigger deal than it sounds at first considering I have to make my way over from Lubbock, Texas, to Atlanta for the occasion. The energy was heavy in the air. It rained hard during that market but it didn’t deter people from coming out spending their dollars with all those vendors.

Comic Relief From Our Stairwell Rain Shelter

If you’d like to read about that adventure and see more pictures from the event CLICK HERE.

Yes, The Village Market is an amazing accomplishment and its mission to “empower entrepreneurs through education, purpose-driven events, and community engagement,” needs to be shared by all of us. But what I am most proud of my little sister for is the beautiful way she works to empower others and protect her energy.

I love her slogan that “Support is a verb”. I love the reminders she graciously shares that “self care is not optional and in fact supports excellence in servanthood”.

Key and the team at The Village Market are a shining example of black excellence and if you haven’t looked into the good work they are doing there is no time like the present.

To learn more about the work of The Village Market Atlanta visit their site at https://thevillagemarketatl.com.


Marta C. Youngblood is the founder and creative engine behind TheWRITEaddiction creatives co-op founded in 2014 as a virtual community supporting writers from all over the United States of America. Marta’s passion drives her to support the success of creatives from all walks of life to honor their talent and share it with the world. She believes that working in our creative callings does not have to be synonymous with being a “starving artist” and helps creatives master the business skills and strategies they need to work in their gifts.

MBHM – The Black Icee Project

Making Black History Moments (MBHM): On January 30, 2020, twenty-seven African-Americans made history by running a half/full marathon in Antarctica with the Black Icee Project.

Welcome to Black History Month 2020! I am so excited that you are here and reading this first post on my new writing project, This Girl Write Here. I can not think of a better way to launch into February than to bring you all 29 days of black excellence which I have titled, “Making Black History Moments”. This year I am going to focus on celebrating those of us who are making history in the here and now so you are definitely going to want to hit this subscribe button and let me help “learn” you something. 😉

I am not new to the blogosphere by any stretch. In fact, I believe I first started blogging long before it was fashionable about 18 years ago. Basically, if my blogs were children I would be sending the first ones off to college right now. That’s really how I seeing many of my writing projects as labors of love.

So without future delay, let’s jump into today’s black excellence feature.

The Black Icee Project is a group of amateur runners from all over the United States of America who came together to for a common purpose to complete a half or full marathon in Antarctica together. When the project first launched in January 12, 2019, in Atlanta, I became aware of the effort through my amazing sisterfriend, Cassandra, who is one of the 29 who completed this awesome undertaking.

First, I want you to picture what the commitment to completing a marathon is when you work like regular folks and have life stuff like regular folks. I have a half marathon coming up and I am in awe of those who prepare to do twice that so my hat is off to this group from jump.

Now, imagine running this marathon on a continent that most humans will never even set foot on. Yeah, let that sink in.

If that isn’t enough, this experience was billed as costing $12,000- $15,000 per participant. 😳. Now, I don’t know all of the people who belong to BIP and I am not a gambling woman, but I would be willing to bet you there weren’t any trust fund babies among them. These folks invested in this endeavor with their own hard earned funds and fundraised to help each other afford to do this for themselves and I dare say for the culture because how many times have we heard things like “black folks don’t run long distance”?

Black Icee Project at White Continent Marathon 2020

I am proud of the fact that I was able to provide a small bit of monetary support to see this idea come to fruition. Do not misunderstand me, I am not bragging by saying I gave to the effort. I am making a point that there are opportunities for all of us to contribute to causes all the time and if someone you love asks you to help them do something that has deep meaning for them if feels good to help if you have the ability to do so. I knew I could not go to be with my sisterfriend on this amazing journey but I very much felt like I was there in spirit.

Cassandra Gilliam at King George Island, Antarctica 🇦🇶

Completing this marathon is not what makes this woman amazing (though I am still in awe). Her beautiful spirit and her commitment to being an extraordinary educator are her true superpowers. Who could have imaged that little girl from Mississippi would one day stand on the continent of Antarctica as a living, breathing example of what you can do if you set your mind to it and put in the work!

Kudos to Heather King the Creator of the Black Icee Project. (Y’all, go read up on this incredible woman HERE). Congratulations to all the members of Black Icee Project and my Cassandra for doing all of us proud!

And do yourself a favor and hit my subscribe button so you do not miss a single day of Making Black History Moments.


Marta C. Youngblood is the founder and creative engine behind TheWRITEaddiction creatives co-op founded in 2014 as a virtual community supporting writers from all over the United States of America. Marta’s passion drives her to support the success of creatives from all walks of life to honor their talent and share it with the world. She believes that working in our creative callings does not have to be synonymous with being a “starving artist” and helps creatives master the business skills and strategies they need to work in their gifts.