Afriware Books is inviting students ages 8-16 to share their poetry about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this website as a response to this blog post. The first 10 students to post can come in the store to receive a free African-centered accessory. To add your post, click on the "comments" link in the upper right hand corner of this post to enter your poem. AfriWare will check for the post when the student stops in the store, and the student will pick from three items. Please keep in mind that this is a public forum, so your poem could be shared on a number of social media sites, and should be family friendly. Our regular hours are Thu.-Fri. 10-6, Saturday 10-5:30pm. We will also be open January 18, 2016 from 10-3pm at 1701 S. 1st Ave., Suite 503, Maywood, IL 60153. Thank you in advance for your sharing your creative writings with us.
Black Youth of Chicago are ALIVE! How proud I feel to see them taking the lead in the protests starting with Black Friday and continuing forward. Black youth and what Harold Washington used to call the “Rainbow Coalition” have put the Mayor and entire administration on defense…they seem to be scrambling to put together a believable story. But, like the light snow we’ve had in Chicago to date, it won’t stick. #WVON deserves special high praise for staying on the ground and giving a megaphone to the voice of the people… Change is in the air and in the heart of the people…and, it feels like spring. Only in Chicago… #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter
There’s so much to be excited about regarding the upcoming luncheon with Dr. Nnedi Okorafor on Sunday, July 19, 2015, 2-4pm @ Yassa’s African Restaurant in Chicago.
First of all, it’s so much more than just a luncheon; it is in fact an example of the unification of 3 parts of the African diaspora coming together to celebrate one of our shining stars!
The author, Dr. Okorafor was born in America, and has Nigerian parentage. Madieye Gueye of Yassa’s African Restaurant was born in Senegal. I was born in America and so were my parents. While we are all of African heritage, we got to this place by different paths. How exciting for this gathering of our diaspora on a business and personal level to celebrate the successful writing career of Dr. Okorafor.
Building on this synergy between us, we are also destroying some myths that are present in our community.
Some still hold the impression that Africans from the continent that come to America do not socialize with those that are here, or that “they don’t come to the South Side.” Sure, there may be some like this, but isn’t it more productive to focus and build upon those that are. When I approached Mr. Gueye, he was instantly in agreement to it. The timing couldn’t have been better. Dr. Okorafor has been a longtime supporter of his restaurant, and, she is a highly successful author, and, she happened to be in town for back-to-back releases of her latest African Sci-fi novels. Thanks to some close friends, I have expanded my reading selections from rigidly non-fiction to the imagination cultivating fiction realm. In reflection, I’ve shocked myself by the change, but after reading Okorafor’s “Zahrah, the Windseeker”, a whirlwind of adventure, magic and African seasoned prose, I was hooked. Lastly, Yassa’s restaurant has moved to the Bronzeville area! His previous location in the heart of a crime ridden area had a fire and forced him to move. The new location is beautiful, has on the street parking and a lot in the back. In other words, the many puzzle pieces that could have kept this event from materializing, instead, aligned like the Dogon observed Sirius B constellation of stars in the sky (seen every 50 years) thus making this the right event at this particular time. This is a beautiful representation of how we need to proceed as a people.
How wonderful, and how exciting I feel in looking forward to the community’s participating in this historic event.
I remember when I first decided to get in business. I actually started off volunteering for an artist who sold greeting cards. It was so much fun to think of ways to assist with sales. I was an artist's agent representing professionals who had a side interest/hobby. Some made dolls, quilts, or crocheted. Some drew or painted. I recall how much it surprised me when a technical manager would share their love for sewing for example. The two seemed at odds with each other but they actually served as a source of pride and joy to balance out the stress of the day. Oftentimes the artists didn't have the time to promote their work; bingo, there's a niche that I decided to fill. At first I had people over for mini business expos to showcase the work. This then graduated to attending art/craft shows and setting up a booth. The experience was fun through it all while I was picking up valuable information about how to do business along the way. And all of this for free. In some instances it seemed I should be paying for this "free" education in business, but I was in turn sharing my valuable time as well; after all, I too was a professional engineer.
The main reason I'm sharing this story is because I know there are those out there thinking about starting their own business and I want them to get a different view of how they may start. You don't have to have an unlimited bank account. You just need to have a tenacious willing spirit to try. Don't overthink the situation and focus on the fun of it all. Believe me, those doing it for years STILL don't know what to do. If you keep an open mind, you will get the guidance you need from those who you come in contact with. The joy is in the journey and your growth along the way, I know I've grown alot, and will grow a lot more. You may have to think of it this way; once you try, at worst you'll just know what NOT to do the next time, brush yourself off and adjust.