BOTWC - Weekly Roundup https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/blogs/newsletter BOTWC Weekly Roundup Mon, 21 Jan 2019 13:03:27 GMT Coco Gauff Makes History With Third Round Win Against Naomi Osaka In Australian Open https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/botwc-firsts/coco-gauff-makes-history-with-third-round-win-against-naomi-osaka-in-australian-open https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/botwc-firsts/coco-gauff-makes-history-with-third-round-win-against-naomi-osaka-in-australian-open Fri, 24 Jan 2020 14:11:17 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com Coco is on fire!!! Tennis phenom Coco Gauff continues to make history! On Friday she beat Naomi Osaka in straights (6-3, 6-4) in the third round of the Australian Open, making her the youngest player in the professional era to beat a reigning winner in the tournament. This historic win also makes Gauff, who is only 15-years-old, the youngest player ever to beat a top-five opponent in a women’s tour... Coco is on fire!!! Tennis phenom Coco Gauff continues to make history! On Friday she beat Naomi Osaka in straights (6-3, 6-4) in the third round of the Australian Open, making her the youngest player in the professional era to beat a reigning winner in the tournament. This historic win also makes Gauff, who is only 15-years-old, the youngest player ever to beat a top-five opponent in a women’s tour level match since 1991, ESPN reports. This win comes on the heels of her most recent win against tennis icon, Venus Williams in the first round of the open. “Honestly, like, what is my life? Like, oh, my gosh! Two years ago, I lost first round in juniors, and now I’m here. This is crazy,” Gauff said.  Last September, Osaka defeated Gauff in a highly emotional moment where she encouraged Gauff to keep going and be proud of what she has done. Now Gauff has come back stronger than ever, making just 17 unforced errors compared to Osaka’s 30, winning in just over an hour.  Osaka admitted that the loss didn’t feel good while still championing Gauff.  “You don’t want to lose to a 15-year-old, you know. But I guess that’s for me, like, a reality check. It doesn't really matter the age of the opponent. Of course, she deserves to be here. She played her matches. I just have to work harder. I love her, but I don’t like this feeling of losing to her,” Osaka told reporters.  Gauff is the first American tennis player in 30 years to reach at least the third round in all of her first three major appearances. She will go on to play against the No.14 seed, Sofia Kenin, in the next round.  Outside of her meteoric rise to the top, Gauff is a pretty regular teenager, who’s currently taking online classes and negotiating turning in homework late, “considering the circumstances,” she said.  We can’t wait to see what she does next! Congratulations Coco!  Meet The Owner of The First and Only Black, Woman-Owned, Beef Jerky Brand https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/botwc-firsts/meet-michelle-timberlake-the-owner-of-the-first-and-only-black-woman-owned-beef-jerky-brand https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/botwc-firsts/meet-michelle-timberlake-the-owner-of-the-first-and-only-black-woman-owned-beef-jerky-brand Tue, 21 Jan 2020 22:01:25 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com Move on over Slim Jim! There’s a new beef jerky on the scene! Michelle Timberlake is the owner of the first and only Black, woman-owned beef jerky brand, Marjorie’s Beef Jerky, Black Enterprise reports. Timberlake launched her business in 1991, naming the company after her late mother, Marjorie Leona Dawson. It is Dawson’s face that’s on every bag of her beef jerky since it was her who convinced Timberlake to... Move on over Slim Jim! There’s a new beef jerky on the scene! Michelle Timberlake is the owner of the first and only Black, woman-owned beef jerky brand, Marjorie’s Beef Jerky, Black Enterprise reports. Timberlake launched her business in 1991, naming the company after her late mother, Marjorie Leona Dawson. It is Dawson’s face that’s on every bag of her beef jerky since it was her who convinced Timberlake to start the company and launch her beef jerky brand.  “My mother knew how determined I was and I promised her that the world will see her face on every bag and that I would name the company after her. I owe this thanks to my mother, who told me that she wouldn’t live long enough to see my products come out on the store shelves,” Timberlake said.  Since 1991, the beef jerky has sold hundreds of thousands of cases and now, the product is being distributed via the NFL and MLB. It’s the big break Timberlake has always waited for. “It took 27 years for someone to give me that break by believing in me, and now I am here with the biggest, tastiest beef jerky that money can buy!,” she said.  Marjorie’s Beef Jerky can be brought in bundles or by the case. There are several different flavors to choose from including cracked pepper, orange teriyaki and the original flavor. The company also offers wholesale opportunities.  “Our beef jerky is premium meat, high in quality, high in protein, with no MSG or preservatives outside of the soy sauce. Even more, it’s only 150 calories per bag,” said Timberlake. She encourages people to try her jerky, even if they aren’t a fan of the popular snack. She said that her version of the tasty dehydrated meat instantly gets people hooked.  Her father, James Timberlake, helps her run the business, assisting her with various tasks and motivating her like only a father can. Timberlake said her father James has been a huge help and she has plans to use his BBQ sauce recipe in future MBJ products.  “My mother is now gone and my father has stepped in and helped me to get my products noticed all over the world. Having my father by my side really helps me with the loss of my mother because he stays involved and talks to me about the company’s success and potential. I am so grateful to my father for that because I love that he is involved in giving me advice, and he always has uplifting things to say to me,” Timberlake said.  To check out the products and order your packs of Marjorie’s Beef Jerky, check out the website here. Congratulations Michelle! We can’t wait to taste this jerky! Photo Courtesy of BlackPR.com     NFL WR Larry Fitzgerald Purchases Stake in NBA’s Phoenix Suns, Becomes Only Active Black NFL Player With NBA Ownership https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/news/nfl-wide-receiver-larry-fitzgerald-purchases-stake-in-nba-s-phoenix-suns Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:03:19 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com Way to diversify the portfolio! NFL player Larry Fitzgerald purchased a minority stake in the Phoenix Suns, ESPN reports. The move makes him the only active Black NFL player with NBA ownership share. He joins Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers who has a stake in the Milwaukee Bucks.  The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver has had a great relationship with the Suns managing partner, Robert Sarver, for some time... Way to diversify the portfolio! NFL player Larry Fitzgerald purchased a minority stake in the Phoenix Suns, ESPN reports. The move makes him the only active Black NFL player with NBA ownership share. He joins Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers who has a stake in the Milwaukee Bucks.  The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver has had a great relationship with the Suns managing partner, Robert Sarver, for some time now. Fitzgerald is a regular at Suns games, holding season tickets since 2005. Recently, he has taken a more active role in the organization, acting as an ambassador with the team. With his new minority holding in the team, he has taken on a number of tasks, sitting in on interviews, canvassing for a Suns public arena vote, etc. But he will play the background, becoming more active with the organization only after he has finished his NFL career.  Fitzgerald credits this move to his relationship with Sarver saying, “I have a special place in my heart for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury, and I have a great deal of respect for Robert. He has become a dear friend and trusted confidante. He is a big part of why I am making this commitment.” Ranking number 2 of all time in NFL receiving yards, Fitzgerald is a legend in the Arizona sports and charitable community, having been active in philanthropic efforts for the majority of his career. In 2016, he was named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year. He is regarded as one of the greatest of all time in Arizona Cardinal’s history, breaking every receiving record the organization has ever held and being voted All-Pro in 11 of his 16 seasons with the NFL. His role as a stakeholder in the Suns lends credibility in Arizona to Sarver and the organization.  “Larry has been a great ambassador for our organization for years. He is an Arizona icon and a businessman, passionate philanthropist, and leader. He brings a unique perspective from outside basketball but still grounded in sport, and we welcome him as a valued partner and investor,” Sarver said.  Congratulations Larry Fitzgerald! Keep changing the game! Photo Courtesy of Phoenix Suns  Student From Cameroon Is Making Boats Out of Recycled Plastic Bottles https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/news/student-from-cameroon-is-making-boats-out-of-recycled-plastic-bottles Thu, 16 Jan 2020 22:36:17 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com This guy takes recycling to a new level! Cameroon native, Ismael Essome Ebone, is turning recycled plastic bottles into what he calls, “EcoBoats,” Tank’s Good News reports. Ebone first came up with the idea in 2011, after trying to figure out a way to reuse all of the discarded plastic bottles that were clogging waterways and exacerbating the issues of flooding in Cameroon. He finally thought to try to turn... This guy takes recycling to a new level! Cameroon native, Ismael Essome Ebone, is turning recycled plastic bottles into what he calls, “EcoBoats,” Tank’s Good News reports. Ebone first came up with the idea in 2011, after trying to figure out a way to reuse all of the discarded plastic bottles that were clogging waterways and exacerbating the issues of flooding in Cameroon. He finally thought to try to turn the bottles into fishing boats, a huge need for the people who live near the rivers.  The bottles worked surprisingly well on the river and Ebone began referring to his reusable boats as Eco Boats. Eventually, he turned his hobby into a nonprofit business called Madiba & Nature.  The organization partners with the Cameroonian government to create “eco bins,” small trash cans made out of plastic bottles that Ebone uses to collect the materials for his boats. Once the bottles are collected, they get tied together to create the Eco Boats which are then used by local fishermen.  Emmanuel Japa, a Cameroonian fisherman said he’s impressed by Ebone’s invention. “The boat is well made. It looks good. In the beginning, we thought it was a joke, but then we realized … it’s a good strong boat,” he said.  Ebone hopes that his boats will help solve dual issues, waste in an area prone to flooding, and scarcity of much needed fishing boats. Through his organization, he hopes to encourage more young people to get into the fishing industry, an industry that’s lucrative in his homeland but expensive to get into. He hopes that his Eco Boats will make the career path more viable and encourages the youth to get involved in the process.  Check out the video below to see Ebone and his process!   Congratulations Ismael! This is amazing! Photo Courtesy of Evolve Star Wars’ John Boyega Surprises Parents With Dream Home In Heartwarming Video https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/the-feels/star-wars-john-boyega-surprises-parents-with-dream-home-in-heartwarming-video Fri, 24 Jan 2020 17:52:19 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com The waterworks y’all! Star Wars lead actor John Boyega posted a video this week, surprising his parents with their dream home, and it's sure to leave you choked up.  Boyega led his parents to initially believe that they were coming to do an interview for a story. When they sat down, the 27-year-old immediately started expressing how much they meant to him. “I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve... The waterworks y’all! Star Wars lead actor John Boyega posted a video this week, surprising his parents with their dream home, and it's sure to leave you choked up.  Boyega led his parents to initially believe that they were coming to do an interview for a story. When they sat down, the 27-year-old immediately started expressing how much they meant to him. “I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve done. This is your new house, it belongs to you. I wanted to present the house to you today. We’ve been planning this for four or five months. It’s a small token, I just thought it best that you live in an environment where you’re happy and you have space and privacy,” Boyega told his parents. But it wasn’t quite registering, and Boyega’s parents weren't quite sure what to make of the overwhelming moment. He went on to tell them that he wanted to gift them a house because his success was a result of their efforts and prayers.  “It’s your prayers that got this, because the skill and ability that I’ve received has been from your prayers, and we cannot ignore what God has used my parents to do in my life. This is just my physical appreciation from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me,” Boyega said. It was at that moment that the tears started flowing, from those of us watching and from his parents who were finally realizing that they were sitting in their new home in London. “I just bought my mom and dad a house. I’ve always wanted to do that,” Boyega said to the camera as his sister, who filmed the whole thing, captured the beauty of the new home.  The British-Nigerian actor then starts to reflect on his relationship with his parents in the video saying, “As your parents get older, they become your babies. They’re curious about who you are as a person. I can tell my parents are aware of the limited time a human being has on this planet and they’re really trying to communicate. They always show love and that’s important. We’ve managed to build such a nice bond.”  While the footage is apparently from a few years ago, Boyega just decided to post it, garnering nearly half a million views so far, and receiving a chorus of love and respect for the gesture. Check out the moment below!   View this post on Instagram Moments like these make all the hard work worth it. A post shared by John Boyega (@johnboyega) on Jan 20, 2020 at 8:09am PST May we all be blessed enough to make our parents this happy one day.  Thanks for sharing this moment with us John! Photo Courtesy of John Boyega/Instagram Couple Who Got Engaged At KFC Get Dream Wedding and Gifts From Thousands of Supporters https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/the-feels/couple-who-got-engaged-at-kfc-get-dream-wedding-and-gifts-from-thousands-of-supporters Thu, 16 Jan 2020 22:32:35 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com What a beautiful ending to this story! The South African couple who went viral after getting engaged at a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)  received a dream wedding and gifts from thousands of supporters, Good News Network reports. Hector Mkansi and his wife Nonhlanhla Soldaat got married in 2012 at a small, quaint ceremony after only dating for about two years. While not much, it was all the couple could afford... What a beautiful ending to this story! The South African couple who went viral after getting engaged at a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)  received a dream wedding and gifts from thousands of supporters, Good News Network reports. Hector Mkansi and his wife Nonhlanhla Soldaat got married in 2012 at a small, quaint ceremony after only dating for about two years. While not much, it was all the couple could afford at the time and Mkansi promised his wife that one day, he would give her the ring and ceremony she deserved.  This past November, Mkansi made good on his promise, purchasing a bigger ring and planning out a proposal for his wife inside of her favorite restaurant, KFC. He enlisted the help of the KFC staff, and when Soldaat retrieved her order from the counter, she was shocked to find a wedding ring sitting on the top of her food.  One of the customers inside began filming, and caught Mkansi just as he got down on one knee and posted the video to social media. The KFC headquarters in South Africa then shared the video to their Twitter page, asking for help from the public to find the couple. The video quickly went viral, garnering more than 4 million views and KFC was able to locate Mkansi and Soldaat, hiring an event planner on behalf of the couple to make their dream wedding come true.   Mzansi please help us find this beautiful couple, re batla ho ba blesser 😊 DM us any leads, there might be a Finger Lickin' Good surprise in it for you too. Batho ba Vaal re thuseng! We love love 😍❤️ #KFCProposal pic.twitter.com/6bj89dtj4j — KFC South Africa (@KFCSA) November 7, 2019  While some people made snarky comments about the fast food romance, the good quickly outweighed the bad. Offers from South African businesses and well wishers were coming left and right, the couple being inundated with free spa treatments, wedding jewelry, flowers, gifts, furniture and even airlines and car companies willing to provide free transportation for the wedding and honeymoon. The outpouring of love was so overwhelming that Mkansi said they weren’t even bothered by the negative comments.  The couple walked down the aisle this past New Year’s Eve at a ceremony that was even bigger than they imagined. “We are still in disbelief. Both of us have to ask each other if this is really happening from time to time. We couldn’t be more grateful to God and every single person that has shared in our little love story. Our dream has come true. We never in a million years thought something like this would happen to us,” Mkansi said.  And of course, KFC South African took to social media to congratulate the beautiful couple. Check out some of the clips below! Ke bana batho bana, batho bana ke bana 💃🏾🕺🏾Ababahle aba! Alililili shateee👏🏾😍😍🥳#KFCWEDDING #KFCProposal pic.twitter.com/EZbsgDnVLF — KFC South Africa (@KFCSA) December 31, 2019  Congratulations Hector and Nonhlanhla! We wish you a lifetime of marital bliss! Photo Courtesy of KFC/W24 Real Weddings 2020 Grammys Will Be Honoring Nipsey Hussle In Star Studded Tribute https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/culture/dj-khaled-john-legend-kirk-franklin-meek-mill-more-set-to-honor-nipsey-hussle-at-2020-grammys Thu, 23 Jan 2020 14:11:56 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com A fitting honor! This year's Grammys will feature a tribute to slain rapper, Nipsey Hussle, featuring performances by DJ Khaled, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, Meek Mill and more, The Root reports. Nipsey, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was a rising legend in the music industry who was tragically killed this past spring in Los Angeles, leaving the world mourning, with many bringing attention to the importance of his legacy, including Forever... A fitting honor! This year's Grammys will feature a tribute to slain rapper, Nipsey Hussle, featuring performances by DJ Khaled, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, Meek Mill and more, The Root reports. Nipsey, born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, was a rising legend in the music industry who was tragically killed this past spring in Los Angeles, leaving the world mourning, with many bringing attention to the importance of his legacy, including Forever President, Barack Obama.  The 33-year-old rapper burst onto the scene in 2005 with his mixtape, Slauson Boy Vol.1, a homage to his Crenshaw upbringing, CNN reports. A member of the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips, Nipsey sought out to create a legacy that was bigger than his street persona, using music as the medium to unite communities of color. He became known in the music industry for his legendary mixtapes and savvy business acumen. Releasing his eighth one in 2013, the “Crenshaw” mixtape sparked interest from many, mainly because it was sold for $100 with only 1,000 available copies. The “Proud 2 Pay” campaign sparked the interest of music heavyweights, including the likes of Jay-Z who bought 100 copies.  By the time the Eritrean father of 2 launched his first official album in 2018, he was already a legend in his own right. He owned his own music label, The Marathon Clothing smart store, The Marathon Agency, a talent and marketing company in partnership with marketing maven Karen Civil and Def Jam executive Steve Carless, and a number of other small businesses spanning industries from beauty to food. After he dropped Victory Lap, his fame only intensified and Nipsey capitalized on it all to continue to push his mission forward of elevating his community.  He went on to open a STEM center, Vector 90, that served as an incubator space for those in the inner city. And just hours after his passing, Commissioner Steve Soboroff of the Los Angeles Police Department, announced that he was scheduled to meet with Nipsey and Jay Z’s Roc Nation to discuss a partnership that would help stop gang violence in the Crenshaw community. As a result of his untimely death, many have sought out ways to honor the late rapper’s legacy.  This week, the Recording Academy announced that they too, would be honoring Nipsey in a major way. Before his passing, Nipsey’s 2018 debut album, Victory Lap, earned a Grammy nomination. This year, he has received three posthumous nominations including Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song for his hit “Racks In The Middle,” and Best Rap/Sung Performance for his song “Higher” with DJ Khaled and John Legend.  The tribute to the Crenshaw legend will feature performances from gospel superstar Kirk Franklin, famed producer and DJ, DJ Khaled, singer/songwriter John Legend, and hip hop artists Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch and YG.  Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of the Grammy Awards issued a press release about the tribute saying, “An activist, entrepreneur and rapper, Nipsey Hussle had a lasting impact on not just his community, but also the culture at large. There is no denying the influence he had and his legacy will be felt for generations to come. We are honored to bring together this amazing group of artists to celebrate Nipsey’s life and pay tribute to his many contributions to music. It’s sure to be a memorable performance.” The 2020 Grammy Awards will also include performances from Lizzo, H.E.R., Run DMC, Charlie Wilson and more! To see the full lineup visit www.grammy.com. The award show will air Sunday, January 26th on CBS.  Rest in peace Nipsey Hussle. The marathon continues.  Photo Courtesy of Lenny Santiago/Instagram LeBron James Partners With Lyft To Give Thousands Of Youth Access To Free Bikes https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com//blogs/culture/lebron-james-partners-with-lyft-to-give-thousands-of-youth-access-to-free-bikes Fri, 24 Jan 2020 17:49:27 GMT newsletter@becauseofthemwecan.com LeBronnnnnnnnn James...is at it again! The NBA phenom has partnered with rideshare company Lyft, to provide youth all over the country with free access to bikes, CBS News reports.  James surprised teens at a YMCA in Harlem this week, announcing his new initiative, letting them know why he felt it was so important to do this. “Growing up, a bike changed everything for me. It was more than a way... LeBronnnnnnnnn James...is at it again! The NBA phenom has partnered with rideshare company Lyft, to provide youth all over the country with free access to bikes, CBS News reports.  James surprised teens at a YMCA in Harlem this week, announcing his new initiative, letting them know why he felt it was so important to do this. “Growing up, a bike changed everything for me. It was more than a way to go see my friends or play basketball - it was a way of life. A bike opened doors, allowed me to get to safe places after school, and gave me access to opportunities I never would have known. I’m proud that Uninterrupted can join Lyft in bringing that access to kids and people in communities across the country ,” James said.  The LyftUp program is an initiative that hopes to “expand transportation access to those who need it most.” The company will provide young people, ages 16 to 20 years old with free one year bike share memberships, partnering with the national YMCA to distribute the memberships to riders who qualify.  John Zimmer, President and co-founder of Lyft said that James was the primary motivator behind the program. “WIth LeBron as our inspiration, we want to demonstrate how transportation can be a spark that helps young people reach their full potential. The future of transportation is exciting, and we feel a deep responsibility to help make transportation accessible to all,” he said. According to Lyft’s website, there are 4.5 million Americans who “don’t have easy access to affordable, reliable transportation.” The company goes on to add that it's even harder “for young people whose futures depend on their ability to connect with opportunities across the communities they call home.” The initiative will kick off in New York and expand to other cities including Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.  This is awesome! Keep setting the bar high LeBron! Photo Courtesy of Lyft/CBS News