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Yesterday I hosted my first #BlackFutureMonth experience and it was lit!

I invited tastemakers, shakers and movers, and intellerati across the diaspora and across industries to celebrate AfroFuturism and members of the Diaspora who are think outside the box.

Who came?

KarynRose Bruyning - Filmmaker, Web Series Creator, Production Company Creator, Photographer, Poet, Performer (Smoke and Mirrors, Christmas in July 1982)

Naseed Gifted - Animator, Comic Book Author, Educator, Writer, Engineer (P.B.Soldier)

Shawn Wilkins - Sports Expert, Sports Talk Show Host (The Wilkins Way)

Tabitha St. Bernard - Sustainable Fashion Designer (Tabii Just)

Rob Fields - Product/Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, Magazine Creator/Editor (BoldAsLove.Us)

Kenyani Shanaii Henderson - Dance Studio Owner, Dance Instructor (Soul Xpressiion)

I also introduced the youth to vegan soul food! I went all the way to Harlem, NY and got Soy Fried "Chicken", Mac-N-"Cheese", and Yams Souffle from Seasoned Vegan. It was DELICIOUS! The kids were absolutely blown away by the "chicken" and didn't believe me when I told them the chicken hadn't had a heartbeat. ....Now I need to teach a workshop on Veganism!!! I also served Coconut Cucumber Mint & Lime Coolers in some artfully placed plastic stem "glasses". The teens really enjoyed it! It was fabulous faux real!

Miss Shanaii and her students of Soul Xpressiion danced to Remember the Time by Michael Jackson, and the crowd was entranced. Her performance was standing room only! I then introduced the panelists, and went into a very timely and important discussion. Each person spoke of how they came to find their passion, and the people who've come before that helped inspire them. Each speaker was so knowledgable and passionate, I honestly didn't want the evening to end.

I really think it's important to introduce young people to contemporary living heros, who come from similar communities and are out in the world doing remarkable things TODAY! So often when Black History Month comes around we focus largely on slavery or significant leaders who contributed greatly to the world, and we forget to highlight the incredible young people who are still carrying the torch! I wanted to highlight local heros.

You can do this too!

You'd be surprised at who's in your neighborhood! Who's a YouTube star, a musician, a dancer, a content curator, an engineer.... Invite them into your library for a night of networking, learning, and empowerment. I'll never forget last night, and I'll always be grateful that these incredible young people came and shared their passion with a room full of strangers.

It was lit.

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