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Despite turbulence, Daytona Beach,Fl residents show resilience in peaceful protest !

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  • Daytona Beach, Fl – May 30, 2020

 

In 2014, New York lost Eric Garner to the hands of police. Eric Garner was put in a choke hold by NYPD for allegedly selling unlicensed cigarettes. A crime that doesn’t hold a death sentence. Yet, this was the outcome for this father and family man. After protest, marches, and constant pressure it seemed things started to change. Fast forward to 2020, in Minneapolis, a man by the name of George Floyd would meet a very similar fate. It makes us wonder what will it take to truly get a change. To actually feel protected by police instead of uncertain. But before we dig deep, I’d like to point out an interesting observation that will show an uncanny and underlining truth about the state America and how it may have intensified.

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Daytona Beach,Fl held a peaceful protest led by Rell Black, a pivotal young man in the city’s moral & educational development along with being an important voice when it comes to injustices and black culture. Rell was apart of a large team that visited Houston,TX to deliver essential goods after the devastating hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. Even recently, Rell held a beach clean up the day after large crowds flooded the city for Memorial Day Weekend. This is only two of many examples that shows the extremes Rell has gone to to impute change.

I found the peaceful protest as they approached Beach St & ISB Blvd. As I approach I noticed a man jump out of a truck from the passenger side; a white man.  The truck carried a boat behind it and the boat carried a huge Trump flag. The man snatched the flag off his boat and put it inside of the truck before he passed the protest. At first it didn’t make sense to me. How does that even correlate to the situation and why would he want to hide a Trump flag as he passed a protest about a man being killed by the police? It hit me later. As I sat in the median on ISB Blvd, to get a unique vantage point take a photo, a man drove by in a white pick-up truck flicking off the crowd of protestors. It sort of hurt my feelings to know that someone, who could potentially be my neighbor, had such harsh feelings towards the situation. As I stared at the truck while it passed guess what sticker he had stamped on the back of his truck? A Trump sticker.

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Before I give my opinion I’d like to point out that the protest was one of the most beautiful protest I’ve ever seen. It was diverse. It warmed my heart to see that it wasn’t just a black and white thing. Some people just want what’s right and see the obvious inequalities. Social media and the new age of technology definitely intensified situations that would have ultimately gone unseen or unheard.  Which brings me to my earlier point. In order for a man to hide his Trump flag as he passed a protest about a black man being killed by a cop, yet again,  says to me that he felt that Trump flag held a deeper meaning. Which was that it fueled racism and the death of George Floyd was fueled by racism. Which is a very sad sentiment towards the state of this country. I mean, if the country’s leader made racist feel more comfortable what does that really say?

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Despite this saddening observation this protest gave me great vibes. There was so much passion there. So much love. I was proud for our city. I’ll be honest, I was discouraged moments before I joined the protest. Wondering how things could actually change. This protest gave me a new outlook. A new motivation. We’re definitely lucky and blessed to have leaders such as Rell Black, along with other great leaders.

The picture above is Rell Black being carried away by ambulance after having his foot run over. It happened moments after a man yelled, “They’re trying to hit us with their cars now!”. Yet, the look on his face isn’t troubled at all. It seemed that we are used to being resilient during times like this. This is the strength I felt.

This scene happened after I left. When I was there things were pleasant. I had a photoshoot to do at 1pm so I left the protest early. Some of the protestors said that they had been marching for hours already when I arrived around 12. My photoshoot ended around 4pm. I went to WAWA on the corner of ISB Blvd and people were still out protesting. I was literally amazed at the perseverance they had towards making sure this message was heard. Despite the heat, despite the discouragement, despite the rage from racist, they didn’t let up. The beauty of some people is something to really awe upon, at times. Big shout out to Kale Cafe (116 N Beach St, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114) and the entire family for handing out cold smoothies for protestors to drink.

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Don’t be confused. I started this article off rough because I wanted you to understand the resilience of our people. George Floyd can’t get anything from us physically now. But his family still has to push through in this tough time here on Earth. This is why it is so necessary that we have situations such as these peaceful protest. It is to constantly remind the people that we can’t let up. The moment we ease up is the moment they feel they can do as they feel to us. But the people show resilience every time. If you don’t believe me, just go back to Rell’s picture above moments after his foot was crushed.

Thank you to all the people that dedicated their time for this moment. Keep the fight alive and continue to apply pressure!

 

Written : Bruce Walton Jr

Natural Professional Bodybuilder Athlete of the Year : Diana Hubbard

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Photos By Marty Gottlieb

When you see a person with an amazing physique your first reaction is always to drop your jaw in awe. Why so? Think of the first thing that comes to mind. Dedication. Will power. Discipline. Even obsession, in some cases.  These types of things don’t come over night. In fact, A lot of people who work out often still may not have the incredible physique that a bodybuilder has. The lifestyle simply takes more than an hour at the gym every day. It’s a complete lifestyle. Eating habits are different. Recreational activities are different. This type of life takes a firm choice. You can live a healthy life without being a bodybuilder. So why choose to be? It can be something as simple as seeing Schwarzenegger in a movie, being bullied as a child, or even a singular situation. Maybe you had a eureka moment. All I know is when I see it, I give my instant respect. Like a salute to a general in command.

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When I first saw Diana, the first thing I thought was intimidation. Not towards me but in general. I’ll tell you why. Women’s athletics is still a growing spectacle in all categories of sports. I’ll give you an example. The first bodybuilding competition was held around September, 1901. However, the first women’s bodybuilding competition wasn’t held until 1979. Nearly a century later.

The push away from the stereotypical house wife role, to “We can do it, too!”, came during and after World War II. Even though women had already started fighting for rights around the late 1800’s, the public campaign came around the 1940’s. Since most the men were at war, woman had to show that they had what it takes. Even when society tried to keep them boxed in. This push has elevated to the incredible stature that it is today. Watching women such as Serena & Venus Williams dominate tennis, or watching Amanda Nunes destroy the UFC women’s division has definitely been a treat.

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(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)

I even asked Diana does she think she intimidates men at all. She responded, “No, in fact, I think it makes them approach me even more. I think they love the discipline aspect of it.”. This is that part that definitely intrigued me.

So what actually drove Diana to sculpt her body into this amazing physique? There may not be a definitive answer but she did tell me an interesting story about a scar she had on her arm.

As I gazed at every unique muscle on her body I noticed a scar on her left arm. You can almost miss it in pictures if you don’t look closely. Being a journalist I always want to hear the inside scoop, so I asked her about the scar. She responded,

“That’s where most of my insecurities really came from now that I think about it. I hated that scar and I would hide it all the time. It lowered with my self-esteem a lot. I broke it in a freak accident when I was around 9-10 years old. I was high up on a swing and fell off. My elbow hit a rock and broke it. My elbow that is. Now a days I embrace my scar. I’m not embarrassed about it anymore and I tell the story with confidence. It makes me unique and I like that.”.

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(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)

This simple rock story may be the reason that she is rock solid today. Mentally and physically. Her life started off pretty normal, though. I mean, besides the fact that she was home schooled. In fact, she was home schooled from kindergarten to middle school, which she explained was a “huge culture shock”. Diana was into athletics early, as well. She played basketball throughout her school stint and was a stand out player. After graduating from Bloomfield Tech in 2009 she attended Iona College on a full scholarship.

Diana BBAL Stats

After a stand out rookie year, where she was the runner-up for rookie of the year, she slowly started to lose steam. She exclaimed that she has always been a shy person with low self-esteem. She believes this is the reason that she slowed down.

“So here I am, a D1 player who didn’t go pro or go overseas like “I’m supposed to”. I felt like a failure and had no choice but to look for work. A year later I decided to join a gym. I missed being active. I hadn’t realized that playing basketball year round was keeping me in shape and the sudden stop would make me lose it a little. I didn’t eat healthy, I drank, partied, and was overall unhappy. I was lost and beat myself up for years for not perusing a professional basketball career like most D1 players do.  For 3 years I went through tough hardships that included relationships, self-esteem issues, health issues, and more. I was tired of living with no purpose. I needed a change.”

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Around 2018 is when she regained her flame. She decided to challenge herself and compete in a bodybuilding show. She said she had it on her mind for 2 years before she actually took action. She didn’t feel like she was 100% focused and was nervous about doing something that would put her in the center of attention. Then she remembered the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”. This led to Diana hiring a personal trainer and eventually a nutritionist.  After 4 weeks on their plan she picked a show to compete in. She told herself no more hesitation, it’s go time!

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She practiced posing in the mirror after she finished doing Lyft, which would be around midnight. She also followed her coach’s meal plan with precision. In July of 2018, merely 4 weeks after she began her training, she entered a Natural Organization called the INBA PNBA. There, she won first place in Figure Novice and Figure Open.  Crazy right? This woman was determined! This expedited success came from a determined work ethic. Diana says she wants people to push pass the thought that they are “too busy” to push towards things they want.

“My typical day, before my first show, would be to wake up at 5am to Lyft. Then I train. I go to work and after work go back to do Lyft. Afterwards, about midnight, I head to gym again to practice posing. This routine is almost everyday.”

Later that year, Diana became certified in personal training and holds two pro cards in Figure and Physique. She has since competed in 8 shows over the course of 2 years.

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Her most recent victory came Nov.16th at a big show In Las Vegas with the INBA PNBA, The Natural Olympia. She placed 3rd overall and was named the National Athlete of the Year by the same association. Seeing this amazing feat in such short time said a lot about her determination. When a person falls in love with athletics it requires a totally different kind of commitment. It’s a life style change. This brings some much fire out of people. It also makes you think more of your over-all health. A strange observation I made throughout the years is that the majority of people maintenance their cars better than they maintenance their bodies. Diana noticed herself slipping and not only bounced back but became something much better than before.

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League owner – Denny Kakos
( Above Coach Marc Tauriello & League President Denny Kakos)

“In the end, it all started with me just wanting to be active again. The gym became my happy place. It became an outlet for stress and distractions in the world. Never be afraid to fail, for failure is apart of success.” Diana expresses.

“Bodybuilding is an extremely tough sport, physically and emotionally. Despite it’s difficulty, I find myself loving every bit of it. There are a lot of highs and lows. Especially dealing with the strict diet. Can you imagine eating the same thing every day for months on end? The temptation to cheat is unbearable at times. You might as well forget about having a social life during the preparation. It slowly diminishes. Through all this, the workouts only get more intense. I love this mode, though. I can sense that’s it’s challenging me physically and emotionally. Anything that pushes me in this way, I feed off it. Just like in my basketball days. The fire I got when we played a tough team. When I missed a couple of shots but was determined to bounce back. Even when I made a bad play and had to sit on the bench and reflect on how to improve. I love all of that. What I love the most about this sport is that it taught me a lot about nutrition.  I will continue to eat healthy, have balanced meals, and diet naturally. I am a stronger woman today because I took a chance to go for something I wasn’t sure I was ready for, and made myself ready.” 

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(Photo Cred – Marty Gottlieb)

Here is a list of placings Diana has had throughout her career as a bodybuilder.

2018 East Coast Classic – 1st Figure Open , 1st Figure Novice

2018 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s – Pro Debut , 1st Place

2018 Natural Olympia – 9th place (world) (17 competitors)

2019 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s Classic – 3rd place

2019 Eastern USA Pro-AM – 1st Pro Figure , 1st Women’s Physique (Earned Pro Card in women’s physique)

2019 The Nationals – 1st place in Physique pro debut

2019 Muscle Beach International – 1st in Pro Women’s Physique

2019 Natural Olympia – 3rd Place , National Athlete of the Year

Diana would like to credit her Nutritionist, Mentor, and Coach Marc Tauriello (Extreme Gym, Nutley,NJ)  for her outstanding success thus far.

Today, Diana is still a full time bodybuilding and has plans to continue to have ground breaking success. She works and a personal trainer in between time. Congratulations on all of your success and keep striving for greatness!

Written : Bruce Walton Jr

From Cloudy Days to Picture Perfect, Alexis Scott – Model

In 1927, a man by the name of Fred R. Barnard coined the phrase, “A pictures’ worth a thousand words”. Despite Alexis’s breath taking looks and stunning physique, a picture simply isn’t enough to describe her fight down glory road. Often times we see that art mostly comes from those with a story to tell. A story which may be hard to describe in words. It may also come from people who’ve been through trauma or pain and have a desperate need to express themselves. Getting people to see beauty from the beholders perspective is the essence of what makes art touch people in a very prodigious way .

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At times, I feel that models may not get the full credit they deserve when it comes to making the firm decision to follow this career path. Putting yourself in the public eye to be judged from head to toe takes great courage and confidence. You have to really learn how to love yourself regardless of what people may say. Some models even try pushing the boundaries of the social standard to what beauty is. Even if there was a time that they didn’t feel “pretty” according to that standard.

Let’s be honest, life has a way of trying to discourage you from being what your heart says you are versus what society expects from you. The movies and tv shows always paints the picture to make it seem as if the underdog is loved. In actuality, the love seems to only come when the underdog gains momentum. Gaining momentum, for someone that has been through tough times, takes day after day of convincing yourself. Uplifting yourself. Staying positive. Defeating odds. Taking leaps of faith. This is the story of Alexis Scott.

Alexis, was born and raised in Daytona Beach, FL. She was primarily raised by her aunt whom she had a very close relationship with. Her aunt took her in after realizing that Alexis’s mother was battling with a drug addiction. Even though Alexis was never supposed to have unsupervised visits with her parents, the aunt did want her to have some kind of relationship with them. Even though the decision to let Alexis have unsupervised visits with her parents came from the aunt having a tender heart, it ended up back firing. The aunt ended up losing custody of Alexis because of an incident that happened between Alexis and her father. At the age of 13, Alexis made a courageous decision that would send her life spiraling. She decided to speak up about the abuse which came from the hands of her father. Alexis would often spend holidays and summer breaks with her parents. This is when the abuse happened. She built up the courage to tell a best friend that she was sexually abused by her father. What she didn’t know was that the government would take her away from her aunt and place her in foster care. This didn’t seem to make sense to her. Fortunately, she was taken in by her best friends family.

Approximately 6 months after she was taken in by her best friend things started to get a little rocky. The family fell on hard times and ended up losing their place of residence. Alexis, along with her friends family, found refuge with acquaintances, family and friends periodically. Most times having to sleep on the floor due to lack of space. Once again, Alexis had to make a courageous move. She decided to run away and would eventually be taken in by her half uncle from her mothers side. Going through so much at this tender age you would think it would distract a young mind. Even make them resort to crime. I asked her “Do you think being in foster care inspired you in any way?”.

“It definitely did not inspire me. Sometimes I often wondered why I didn’t have a “normal” life instead. The only thing I can say came from this is that it made me eager to get my own place. My case worker always said “You either age out of the system or graduate. That’s the only way out.”

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Her soon to be way out would come, to her surprise, once she learned she was on track to graduate high school early. It seemed that the chaos only made her focus and excel tremendously academically. A complete oxymoron. During her middle school stint, Alexis took an Algebra 1 course along with an English test that would count towards high school credits. That, along with taking some summer courses, started her advancement. Alexis noticed on her own that she had enough credits to advance. When she brought this to her guidance counselor they suggested she duel enroll. Seeing that she was so close to completion she decided to take the advice to duel enroll. After a little more hard work Alexis would be on track to graduate high school at the age of 16.

Her uncle, who she lived with at the time, agreed to let her stay at his home until she graduated high school. You would think that a teenager graduating high school early would be good news. For a teen with no where to go and also not being a legal adult made things a little interesting to say the least. She found a job and saved up money so that she would be prepared if she had to move. Choosing colleges would prove to be difficult. If the college didn’t offer any type dorm or living situation Alexis basically couldn’t go. She wasn’t old enough to sign a lease yet. I’m assuming this problem was the deciding factor in her choosing to attend a local college. Her next battle would be with the court system. She basically had to be emancipated in order to be considered a legal adult. Through an extensive battle she finally convinced the court that she needed to be a legal adult so that she wouldn’t be turned back over to foster care. Also, so she could sign a lease and pursue a college degree in her own place. So while most teenage girls were stressed about boy crushes and fitting in with the “cool kids”, Alexis was living a much more serious life. Though, she hadn’t realized it yet. She was simply relieved to have a place to call her own.

Shy, alone, battered, to say the least. You’d wonder how this timid girl chose something like modeling. Well, she didn’t. She was chosen. When she first applied for the scholarship with a modeling school she was certain that she wouldn’t get picked.

“I was smart…but I had tattoos and no money. I didn’t even think they would be interested. Some how I was chosen and accepted for their scholarship. If it weren’t for me getting accepted I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to go any where and model”

Thus, her modeling career was born

 

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Alexis’s first real gig came from Feroce Magazine. The article was titled “Misunderstood”. The opportunity came from a friend she met at Seabreeze High School. With great help from her husband (and manager) and her photographer Tyler Jenkings, she was able to create a professional presence for herself. With a professional backing she was able to build up enough confidence to pursue modeling full speed.

 

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Life was starting to look promising for the young lady. Yet, it gets better. At the age of 20 her boyfriend of 7 years, Xavier Scott, decided that he wanted to be with her for ever. He proposed to her. They would get married  in August of 2018. It seems that for her the storm had passed and the sunshine has come out again.

Currently, Alexis is a college student and a freelance model. She says that her main goals are to one day walk the run way during Fashion Week and also being picked to star in a major movie role. Seeing what she has overcome so far, nothing is impossible.

It was remarkable seeing how this young lady stayed positive through it all. I asked her did she have any advice for anyone that has endured a rough upbringing but wants to remain positive about the future.

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“Just keep going, and most importantly, get help! Some people are ashamed of what they have gone through or either too proud. No matter how good a person may seem we all need to heal properly. No matter what it is you go through, don’t be afraid to tell someone. I am very grateful for the METOO movement. It is allowing people to speak up more than ever. For those who feel like they won’t be heard, just remember that there is someone, somewhere, that’s willing to listen and help”.

May God bless you on your journey, Alexis.

Special Thanks :

Photographer : Tyler Jenkings

Nail Tech : Sarah Mai

Husband : Xavier Scott

Friends, Family and Followers

Contact Info :

Instagram : @darkskinnedalexis

Facebook Business Page : Alexis Ann Scott

Facebook Manager : Xavier Scott

This Mom Stayed In Shape After 5 Kids!

Meet Venus Tutu! We stubbled across her after the picture below went viral!

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Of course curiosity flew around wondering how in the world did she manage to do it! Most women are concerned about how their body will bounce back after pregnancy. Their bodies endure so much between weight gain and the stretching of the skin. So I asked Venus what her post pregnancy secrets were. This is what she revealed.

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Venus was born in Liberia but moved to the states and was raised in Philly. She had her first child at the tender age of 17

“It was a drastic change for me, especially from my native background beliefs. Due to me having a baby so young and out of wedlock I became an outcast to my family. I went from having a roof over my head to being homeless/sleeping in laundromat bathrooms. I was still in high school, raising a baby with no knowledge of how to do so. I struggled a lot but my son kept me sane and pushed me to better both of our situation. He’s literally my life.”

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Being so young, Venus felt like her body didn’t suffer much. She bounced right back into shape. She humorously replied “My breast didn’t get the same memo”.  It wasn’t until her second child where she actually started to take fitness seriously.

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Venus explains that after her second child the “gym” was a trending thing at the time. It just so happens that it helped her stay in shape. Her wanting to workout in hopes of bouncing back after pregnancy didn’t happen until after her 3rd child. She explains how she focused on foods she saw the best weight loss results from

“After my 3rd baby my snap back wasn’t as quick. I still had some weight left on me. Once I noticed that I started going to the gym more and changed my eating habits(not entirely). I also discover the foods/drinks that made me drop pounds in days”

Venus’s grandmother birthed 14 kids and her body was amazing afterwards so she feels a lot of it had to do with genetics mixed with hard work. She says she loves her body. She lives to show it off as much as she can. She inspires the be a model at some point in her life.

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Her latest test was recovering from having twins! Especially since the previous child wasn’t even a year old yet.

This took a real tool on her over all energy levels. She’s explains thats the hardest part about staying in shape,at this point, was simply getting up.

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Venus understands the struggle of parenthood. Especially being a single parent. These are her words of advice.

“Take them kids with you ! Find a gym that has a daycare center inside and go workout ! Most mothers want to workout but can’t due to them not having anybody to watch their kids. So find a gym that has a daycare center and go ! You may not see results in days or weeks but don’t give up ! Pick certain days to work on certain things and stay consistent! You know it’s working when it hurts. Pain should encourage you even more! Build up your confidence and kick ass when you’re working on your body goals ! Please don’t go to the gym just to post pics on social media…focus on the goals you set”

If you want to reach Venus for business inquires contact her at

venusktutu@gmail.com

Venus Tutu on FB & IG

Written by Bruce Walton Jr

Community revival, just in time for the back to school season.

 

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Parents if you’re looking for a positive back to school gathering then this is it! The community revival is hosted by the PPG Pastor Prayer Gathering Group, Black Alliance Group and Associate & Leaders. The revival will be a 3-day event beginning on August 1st until August 3rd. The group will unite together for youth prayer at 6:00 PM and the Community Revival will begin at 7:00 PM.

Everyone is welcome to come in unity to pray for our youth before they return back to school. The Panel will speak on matters regarding domestic violence, crime and other issues happening in urban communities. They are already getting a great response from the communities and many members have sent their commitment stating they will be a part of the event.

Minister Sammy L. Jackson states, “People are asking for these types of events here and in other cities. The time is now, we need this in our communities. We are working on our tour and are currently accepting request from individuals who want to have a revival in their community. God has a lot to share with his people who have ears to hear his voice.”

By: Keidra Ponder

Deborah Branch, Owner of Lil Mama’s kitchen, credits God for sudden buzz and success

 

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Deborah started off as any other kid. She developed a dream from simply watching her surroundings. This so happened to be watching her mother cook some of her favorite meals. For Deborah, cooking gave her a place to escape. After graduating high school she made a firm decision to pursue cooking as a career.

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She decided to move from her home town of Gainesville,Fl to attend Daytona State College in 2012. Daytona State College had a great culinary school and it was fairly close. This is where she met her current friend and mentor Andra Chishlom. Andra has had some great success in culinary arts which includes her major roles at Daytona State College, her various news appearances, and her great run in cooking show competitions. Deborah gives Andra much respect for all the help and promotion she has given her throughout her career. Deborah graduated from DSC in 2014.

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Deborah’s Fox 35 Orlando Appearance (Link)

In 2015 Deborah decided that she wanted to open a restaurant of her own. Her pastor prayed for her and told her that she would be opening a restaurant soon. That was enough motivation for her to pursue it seriously. With the help of her mother and father she was able to find a building that was reasonable for her. Unfortunately, the space was occupied at the time. Yet, something filled her spirits about the place and she prayed over it as if it was already hers. About a week later she saw that people were moving things out of the place. She immediately called the realtors and by late 2015 Lil Mama’s Kitchen was born.

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The place was in disarray but with her strong team that consisted of her husband, parents, her pastor and her uncle eddie she was able to turn the place around. Strictly from the connections she gained while in Daytona Beach, she was able to have a successful soft opening. There were a lot of great vibes and that’s all Deborah asks for.

“I really just love great vibes and atmosphere. I love to come out and greet people, ask them how they are doing, and engage with them, ya know? I love to uplift people. Be the light to their day. I’m a community person, as well. I just love to help people. I also like to speak inspiration into women. Especially, when it comes to respecting their bodies and being much more than what’s on the surface. Self value, Self Worth, and knowing who you are is the key. I feel like a woman such as myself owning a restaurant inspires them.” – Deborah BranchOwner of Lil Mama’s Kitchen

 

When speaking to Deborah about what dishes brought in the most customers she couldn’t pin point things at first. Then her mothers chitterlings came to mind. She said the chitterlings were a hot item that people frequently requested. She switches it up pretty much every day, though. She has a special for each day she is open. Her focus is soul food.

Cooking wasn’t tough for her. She says that learning the business was difficult.

“This being the first time of me running a business, it was definitely tough at first. I always worked under people but never fully ran a business on my own. Learning how to manage the finances, menu roll outs, learning certain employees….it’s things you don’t really think about until you actual experience it. The advice I have for anyone starting a business for the first time is research, research, research. You can never learn too much. I definitely give credit to God for how things fell in place for me.” 

Though her main success came from her restaurant and cooking, her main goal is to help woman in general. She keeps God first and really thanks her parents, her pastor, her husband, and Andra for all of their help throughout her journey and rise to the top.

Restaurant location :

200 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd

Social Media Handles

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how-to-skip-ads-on-youtube-logo-_thumb800Lil Mama’s Kitchen –

 

Written By : Bruce Walton Jr

 

Ballad “From me to you”

That alarm that keeps waking you up at the crack of dawn, yet you can’t find, yes it’s me. You are not going crazy but you are going in circles and I’m here to guide you. Why do you doubt my instructions? Ye of little faith, have I ever led you wrong? I have never said anything out-of-place or biased. I told you what not to say and you still said it, I told you what not to do and yet you still did it. I let you learn but when will you listen? When will you trust me? That thing you call intuition, the voice you call God, yes that’s me and yes I am you. You are me, yet you still questions my motives and trust others. When you fall I never say, “I told you so”, nope, that’s all you, but it’s all good. Life is a journey it’s about the experience. Until you learn to live in Harmony, you will stay on the same level re-learning the same lessons. Life is a gift, your presence radiates your energy, so stay positive, anguish is a mindset. You are divine light having a human experience, intentionally unbeknownst to you. Once you are in unison with your mind and body then we can be one. I live in the place where you dream and you live in mine. You are my thoughts manifested into this realm. Relax, trust me, love yourself and love others. Love is the only answer, love is your religion. Be a giver and you will never have to take another day in your life. You must learn to walk in peace before you can fly in light. It’s not about how to get over something, it’s about how to go through it and remain at peace. Don’t question your purpose and don’t give up on your day dreams. You were beautifully crafted by me, so don’t change who you are for the world, but change how you view the world. Everything and everyone is connected. Fear nothing, let the past go don’t let your ghost haunt you. Manifest your destiny and so it shall be. Conquer your ego, your addictions and your attachments, it is then you will come to rely on your inner chi. Don’t go out searching, yet go out exploring, store your memories for your higher purpose. Protect your energy and shed negative vibes to keep your temple sacred. Breathe and think before you react, matter of fact don’t react just understand. Vibe with your soul, listen to the frequencies and say less.

By: Keidra Ponder

This is a ballad from myself to myself. I encourage readers to have a heart to heart with themselves and share it with us. #BalladChallenge #Frommetoyouchallenge

Community Healing Project Inc. brings the city together for Remembrance Walk

After the tragic death of Shakyri Willis, Daytona Beach resident, the team Community Healing Project Inc. decided to host a peaceful Remembrance Walk simply for people to reflect, come together, and promote that the tragic losses of our people has to stop. Tensions where definetly high seeing that the incident involved police. With the alarming amount of racism and police brutality, this sent the city on edge. But the team decided to shift the atmosphere to positivity and reflection. Even Mayor Henry came and gave an impromptu speech. H.B. Films caught the intimate moments along with the compelling speech be Rell Black. Check out the link below

https://www.chponline.org

Written by Bruce Walton Jr

 

Company Review; Immaculate Cleaning Hands

By: Keidra Ponder

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Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with business owner Ashley Kelly, she is part owner of Immaculate Cleaning Hands along with Rhonda Carter. Together the ladies bring a quality service to the Central Florida area with customers in mind. Immaculate Cleaning Hands is a commercial cleaning company specializing in doing the dirty work so you can handle the day to day business. Whether it be a commercial, retail or industrial property these ladies are equipped to handle the job. The ladies of Immaculate Cleaning Hands are dedicated to providing superior results. Some of the services rendered are corporate cleaning, floor care, appliance cleaning, dust control, restroom restocking, spot cleaning and more.

Take a tour through their website for more insight, click the link Immaculate Cleaning Hands. When asked why she chose this field, Ashley said this field chose her. Rhonda and Ashley have always been friends with goals to succeed in life. They have tried a few business ventures in the past but this time they struck gold. Having worked in the various fields such as health care and business management, the women knew what it took to provide exceptional customer service. Their knack for entrepreneurship was the icing on the cake, it’s levels to ambition and these women are driven to reach the top. If you have any questions, concerns or have an interest to work with these ladies please contact them at 386-222-2989 or by email at ich@immaculatecleaninghands.com

WORLD AIDS DAY: Common & Patti LaBelle March In The Streets, Perform & Honor Harry Belafonte — The Young, Black, and Fabulous®

Common, Patti LaBelle and more hit the stage for a great cause last night! The YBF stars performed and honored human rights activist Harry Belafonte at the Keep The Promise AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s free event to acknowledge World AIDS Day. Pics and video inside… Rapper Common and iconic singer Patti LaBelle kicked off World AIDS…

via WORLD AIDS DAY: Common & Patti LaBelle March In The Streets, Perform & Honor Harry Belafonte — The Young, Black, and Fabulous®

Expressing Condolences to an Acquaintance

By Suzie Kolber

You see her softly sobbing in her cubicle. You’ve heard the story that her father recently passed away, but you don’t know her very well. You only say “hi” when you come in or when you pass her a new file. What will you say when you pass by her today?

You’ve noticed how he avoids everyone lately, and he comes in late to work. You know his wife died a few weeks ago, and he’s just not the same. You haven’t had a reason to talk to him, but you have a meeting scheduled this afternoon with just the two of you. Should you broach the subject or pretend everything is normal?

These situations are awkward for the most eloquent people. For the average person, it can make them uncomfortable to be around someone who has suffered a loss. The question of whether to say something and if so, what should you say comes to everyone at one time or another. If you follow these guidelines, it won’t have to be so awkward to express condolences to an acquaintance.

Obvious Avoidance

Remember that if you feel you should say something and don’t, it will be obvious to the other person that you’re avoiding the subject. They will feel even more uncomfortable and alone. Instead, if the situation seems to call for some kind of expression of sympathy, do it.

You can keep the comments short and casual. In the first instance, you could simply say something like this:

“I heard about your loss and I wanted to express my sympathy. Let me know if you need more time to work on this file.”

The second situation calls for something a little more direct. Maybe you’re the supervisor or at least a co-worker involved in a project with the guy whose wife died. You need to broach the subject because it will be obvious if you’re ignoring it. And face it, he probably knows he’s not acting the same and he knows other people realize it as well. You can handle this situation by saying:

“I know this is a difficult time for you. I’m sorry for what you’re going through, and let me know if there’s any way I can help. I can take on more work for this project or give you an extension to the deadline.”

By offering solid suggestions for ways you can help, you take the focus off the death of the loved one and put it on helping them out. Many times, people don’t know what help is needed or what to ask for, and you offering a specific way of assisting them enables them to figure out how to deal with their grief.

Avoid trite comments just for the sake of saying something. You don’t need to say a lot to express your condolences, but make them words that count. Remember that not saying anything can make the situation more awkward than anything you might say. Even the most basic sentiments can help the person feel better and allow them the freedom to work through their grief with your support.

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Suzie Kolber is a writer at obituarieshelp.org . The site is a complete guide for someone seeking help for writing sympathy messages, condolence letters and funeral planning resources.

How to ignite change so that all lives matter.

The question that’s weighing heavily on the minds of many is how to ignite change? How to be treated equally and have black lives actually matter. No praying, crying, rallying, killing or hating will ever give African Americans the respect they deserve. For black lives to matter, we must matter!

A few ways for black lives to matter are one, we must know our history and spiritual practices beyond slavery. I heard, “A nation without a past is a nation without a future.” Next we must practice self love and protect each other, if the system isn’t protecting us, then we must help we. No that’s not saying be the bully which we demise, but it’s saying stand up for what is right, stand together, they cant kill us all. They fear us for being dangerous, but our most dangerous muscle is the brain, let’s use our mind to fight back and use our bronze when necessary. Please sign my petition. We are trying to change the interaction between police and all civilians.  Petition for change.

Now we get down to the real answers to open the gateway for change, we must control the black dollar!! We as a culture have the least amount of buying power yet we spend the most money. I can understand how Dame Dash once said that Jewish people call black people liquid money . We as a culture must stop spending money with a system that’s oppressing us. Lets start buying from black owned businesses, lets start banking with black banks and lets sacrifice some of the amenities we are used to having in order to invest in the black community. The more we sacrifice and invest in black owned companies, the more job opportunities and resources we create for ourselves. Once we can support ourselves, we will be able to not only receive the justice that is due but we will be able to rise again.

Just one thing to ponder, even though all races endure inequality and brutality, why is it happening to the black race at such high rates vs any other race in America? Do you think other races will continue to wake up and support a system that doesn’t support them? We must wake up, stand up and build our nation up.

By: Keidra Ponder

How I found love at Love Covenant Life Center

I found myself in Daytona Beach, Fl for Mother’s Day to celebrate with my mother. She is my rock, the first God I knew before I knew God, so I tore the road up to make sure she knew she was appreciated. No gift could replace time spent, but you better believe I had gifts in tow! That Saturday afternoon we attended a concert in the Historic Cypress Park with a Motown theme. My mother saw a lot of her friends from back in the day, she sang and ran her mouth. I just looked in astonishment at the lady who is still smiling and going hard after all of life’s pains. I was happy the concert was able to take her away from the hustle and bustle of waking up every day at 5 am to work two and three jobs. My mother is a hard worker who’s faith never waivers no matter what obstacle she is faced with.

Sunday, Mother’s Day, I woke up to find my mom cleaning up something and praying as usual. She was surprised to find me up so early, but she didn’t know I had plans on going to church with her that morning. My mother is so proud of the woman that I have matured into, the old me would have been tired or occupied. I never made time to slow down and appreciate life’s blessings that I already had, I was so busy chasing the wind. Now each day is a present to me, I enjoy the gift of life more abundantly than before. Anyhow, after trying on several dresses, (my mom, not my daughter nor I) we were out the door and headed to Love Covenant Life Center.

This Church family has been in my mom’s life for some time now, she is a better version of herself because she found herself. Pastor Bobby and first lady Carolyne Mills are active and present in their congregation’s lives, which in turn, keep the members encouraged and faithful. Mother Mills and my mother are the saved Thelma and Louise and I am proud of those two virtuous women. On this Sunday we celebrated their roles in our lives as mothers, leaders and role models. Sister Chelsea opened the service with prayer and worship and then Pastor Mills closed it up with such a heartfelt sermon.

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Pastor Mills spoke from the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 4-7 about the gift of love. You see we may love our spouses, our family, and our pets, but there’s nothing like a mother’s love. A Mother’s love is without limitations. Verse 4 reads, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, love is not puffed up;” We as humans love with conditions and want others to forgive us as God would, when we’re not willing to do the same. A mother understands with raising children, you have to forgive without sparing the lesson. A mother has many sleepless nights and restless days worrying about her children and her mate. Pastor Mills Also referenced Proverbs chapter 31 verses 10-31 which speaks about the virtuous woman who is more precious than rubies, even her children call her blessed. A quote that Pastor Mills used as a honorable affirmation of the woman came from William Golden who said, “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men, they are far superior and always have been.” All in all, stand tall virtuous woman.

I was happy God led me to Love Covenant Life Center to spend my Mother’s Day with my virtuous woman. With so many different events going on in Georgia that weekend, Sweet Auburn Spring Fest, Boosie’s Mother’s Day celebration and more, I thought I was missing out on something (there’s that chasing the wind syndrome). I would have been at so many events, but God directed my path, as he always does. If you are in the Daytona Beach, Florida area and you don’t have a church family, this is one family who always welcomes visitors with open arms. The fifth Sunday of May Love Covenant is having fellowship with their congregation from Orlando, FL and Troy, AL. I urge all to attend, their address is 1015 Mason Ave. Daytona Beach, Fl 32114. If you have any question please call me at 386-334-8225, I will direct you to the welcoming committee. No their is no proof that I could give you to make you believe in God, but their is power in belief. My life is my testimony and my words are my story. My beliefs have gotten me this far, never let the world make you loose your’s. Whatever you believe in, keep those values steadfast and close to your heart through Life’s ups and downs.

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, 30 years later

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I had the pleasure of going to a historical sight and paying homage to the honorable Dr. King in his home town of Atlanta, GA. Downtown Atlanta houses the King’s historic district. I had a tour of his home, his neighborhood and the church he grew up in.
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Watch “The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. National Live Stream” on YouTube

I wondered why his day of observance wasn’t on his actual birthday. I didn’t know it took so long for his day to be made into a national holiday. In my quest to be more enlightened I have include some information for my readers as well, enjoy the information and enjoy this holiday. Take some time out do something productive and positive. 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/01/16/martin-luther-king-junior-holiday-federal-monday-january-stevie-wonder/78844042/

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/mlkjrd

http://www.thekingcenter.org/meaning-king-holiday

 

Keedie’s Corner 1st Annual Holiday Food Drive

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Keedie’s Corner was blessed this year to be able to give back to less fortunate individuals at our first annual food drive. The team plans on not only doing this annually but on every occasion where the needy may need a helping hand. We want to thank everyone who donated to the cause, the turn out was great.

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Special thanks to everyone that showed up to support the movement!!!

We were greatly humbled and blown away by the appreciation from the people who came by to pick up some goods. It’s was a great honor to be able to generate donations from our supporters that we used to bless others with. Once again thanks everyone and shoutout to the Keedie’s Corner staff for putting this all together.

Special thanks to “Pure-In-Heart Christian Academy” for letting us use their facility.

Check out the video from the experience below.